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  • 2022 April 11 14:30

    The first Air Plus Powerpack to be unloaded today in the Port of Antwerp

    Antwerp Euroterminal (AET), joint venture of the Grimaldi Group and Mexico Natie, is the largest multipurpose terminal in Europe and one of the 24 terminals of the Grimaldi Group. AET is the hub terminal in Western Europe of several of the group's Lines with connections to Northern and Southern Europe, Western Africa and the Americas, according to the Port of Antwerp's release.

    The multipurpose terminal in Verrebroek – specialized in the handling of containers, project cargo, general cargo and all types of vehicles – has been preparing its business operations for years for an energy transition. This week, the physical installation of the third windmill on the AET sites will be completed and, later this year, the installation of a solar panel park on the roof of the Multilevel parking garage – which is currently under construction and to be the largest in Belgium – will commence. The solar panels and wind turbines will ensure that on a daily basis, in ideal conditions, a maximum capacity of 12.6 Megawatts of green energy can be generated on the company site. Of this energy, 10.6 Megawatts come from wind energy and 2 Megawatts from solar energy. The total installed capacity of both energy sources will be 15.6 Megawatt.

    In order to ensure that the generated electricity can be used flexibly, regardless of the presence of Wind and Sun, Antwerp Euroterminal has developed a storage strategy within the PIONEERS consortium that will allow it to detach power consumption from power production.

    On Monday 11 April 2022, the first Air Plus Powerpack will be unloaded at the terminal. This powerpack will be used in a test setting where electric cars are being charged during their inspection at import. This way, the cars are fully charged with the green energy from the wind turbines and the energy produced is used locally. This also results in a significant CO2 reduction in the “well to wheel” of the electric cars.

    Pending delivery of the remaining battery packs and the completion of the technical infrastructure, an Energy Management System (EMS) from Envision will enable AET to gain a first experience with the optimized coordination of the consumption and production of green energy on site. With the current test, the collaboration between AET, the Port of Antwerp and Envision will be the first collaboration within the PIONEERS project that starts with the implementation phase.

    The Powerpack, which is supplied by Air Plus, has a storage capacity of 537 kWh, equivalent to the daily energy consumption of 58 families. A total of 4 Battery Packs will be connected, with a total storage capacity of 2.15 MWh.

    The test phase gives AET and Envision the opportunity to further develop the EMS, test on a small scale and connect more measuring devices and energy consumers. As a result, a full-fledged EMS will be ready after the summer period to constantly monitor the entire energy generation, consumption and storage as from Q4 2022, with the aim of making maximum use of the green energy at the terminal.

    With the choice for a strategic green energy management project, AET is once again taking the lead in sustainability. The generated electrical energy will be used within the company for the electricity consumption of the operations at the terminal and to charge electric vehicles. But AET also goes further. Together with the Port of Antwerp, plans exist for a shore power supply at the terminal, whereby ships calling at the terminal will be connected to the electricity grid.

    With its sustainability policy, AET follows the strategic line of the Grimaldi Group, which is simultaneously making the necessary preparations to equip its ships with a shore power connection. With this, the Grimaldi Group confirms to be an international shipping frontrunner in its efforts to achieve emission reductions within the Port of Antwerp.

    With its focus on sustainability, AET recently received a nomination for the Antwerp Innovation Night, which Voka yearly organizes in collaboration with the University of Antwerp. In the recent past, the company experimented with electric Heavy Duty forklifts and terminal equipment running on hydrogen. For the time being, it is not yet feasible to completely ban fossil fuels from Port Operations, but the above described project opens new doors to the future.

    Partners of this project are AET, Envison, AirPlus, Grimaldi Group, PIONEERS Ports and Port of Antwerp.

    PIONEERS is an international consortium coordinated by the Port of Antwerp, in which 46 partners work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ports. This collaboration is part of the Green Deal of Horizon 2020, a funding program of the European Commission for science, innovation, research and development.

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