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Home Decarbonisation Campaign Barcelona's major container terminal unveils plans to supply boxships with electricity

Barcelona’s major container terminal unveils plans to supply boxships with electricity

The Port of Barcelona has sent to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) the tender for the pilot project to supply electricity to container vessels in operation at the Hutchison Ports Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST).

This pilot project, with a tender price of US$6.7 million (€5.85 million), is part of Phase Zero of the Wharf Electrification Plan that is being developed by the Spanish port.

It includes drafting and performance of the project, as well as the ship connection and disconnection service and installation maintenance, according to a statement.

With planned overall investments of nearly US$103.1 million (€90 million), the Wharf Electrification Plan is one of the Catalan port's major projects to halve carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from port operations by 2030 and become a carbon-neutral port by 2050.

This plan, which will enable ships docked at the wharf to connect to the general electricity grid with clean and certified 100% renewable energy, received a major boost in March 2021, when the corporation operating the national electricity grid in Spain, Red Eléctrica,  confirmed the start of construction of the new Ronda Litoral Substation, a point to which the Port of Barcelona will ask to connect.

This is therefore expected to make it possible to develop the Electrification Plan for the wharves. The new 220 kV substation will be located very close to the Príncep d’Espanya wharf on the south side of the Ronda Litoral ring road.

Moreover, the pilot project at the BEST terminal involves bids to build and commission the first onshore power supply (OPS) points to operate in the commercial wharves of the Port of Barcelona.

In that connection, currently, the first OPS points in the port area are in operation at the MB92 Barcelona facilities and some of the container vessels arriving at the port area are already prepared to be connected to the power grid with OPS.

Once the BEST pilot project is underway, the Port of Barcelona is anticipated to have experience-based data on OPS performance on container vessels and to be able to identify future needs and developments.

"This set of practical knowledge and data will qualify us to collaborate in developing the future regulations that will regulate the supply of electricity to ships in both State and European ports," stated Damià Calvet, president of the Port of Barcelona.

The Wharf Electrification Plan is fully aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and one of the keys to achieving direct connection to the high-capacity electricity grid, to meet the anticipated electricity demand of ships.

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