Skip to content

More Onshore Power Supply (OPS) sought by Europe's Ports - ESPO

AMG Logistics

Image Courtesy:

Many ports in Europe are speeding up their efforts to deploy more Onshore Power Supply (OPS), according to the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), and want to spend in OPS where it makes the most sense.

Onshore Power Supply (OPS) is an aspect of the greening of the shipping industry. It’s a crucial mechanism for lowering CO2 levels and air pollution at berths and in ports. Greening the maritime business is a top concern, and ports want to assist with this endeavor.

The ships berthed in the port terminals, while operating their diesel engines excessively during loading and unloading, are one of the factors affecting air quality in and around the port.

According to ESPO, a high upfront expenditure and substantial operating costs are required for an aggressive OPS implementation strategy. Since these risks cannot be met alone by ports, public financing is a must for a profitable OPS deployment. Focusing on delivering OPS where it produces cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air contamination at berth is the only way for Europe’s ports to ensure quick implementation of OPS while preventing a loss of public funds. 

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), in collaboration with its representatives, has proposed a mechanism to assist ports and policymakers in implementing an appropriate and intelligent approach to OPS.

“European ports want to increase their OPS. If ports wish to prepare an aggressive and successful OPS deployment strategy, they must concentrate deployment efforts on areas where OPS is appropriate. The expense of installing OPS is too great to continue to do it anywhere without doing a thorough cost-benefit study. We were able to build a realistic set of do’s and don’ts for Operations by pooling the insights of ports who had done their research on OPS. 

We defined a set of positive parameters that aid in investment prioritisation. “We agree that this review would provide policymakers with a greater understanding of what is required to develop an aggressive yet successful OPS deployment strategy as one of the tools to achieve the ultimate aim of the shipping sector’s greening,” says ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

ESPO has defined main requirements to be evaluated collectively in order to promote positive and successful OPS policy: the ship’s (or shipping segment’s) OPS readiness; is the vessel (segment’s) spending enough time at berth for it to make sense to connect; are there frequent users of a berth (OPS connection is better in the case of a daily vessel call at the same berth); is the berth enough utilized to justify the investment; fresh berths are being planned (where OPS can directly be integrated into the planning of the port).

Any port-specific circumstances must be addressed in addition to these main criteria: the berth’s and port’s position, berth size and configuration to accommodate the vessel link, access to (public) financing, accessible grid power and access to renewable energy, and room on the berth to incorporate the OPS infrastructure.

Overall, European ports agree that finding a shipping segment that is OPS-suitable by itself and without any other requirements is exceedingly difficult. Certain shipment categories, though, could be more fitting and prioritised. 


AMG Logistics

Image Courtesy:

The shipping markets with the greatest potential for pollution mitigation, such as ultra-large container ships, should be approached first. 

It might also be necessary to concentrate on the cruise and ferry parts, since they often dock near densely populated areas and metropolitan agglomerations. However, there are certain additional distinctions that must be made for both of these segments.

In order to render OPS a feasible instrument in terms of both environmental and cost-effectiveness, ESPO argues that there should be corresponding engagements between vessels, energy sources, and ports.

Furthermore, although the cost of installing OPS differs from port to port and between various port locations, OPS is usually quite expensive. 

It is true that all OPS programs have gained significant public financing or sponsorship to date. 

When planning the financial case for OPS implementation, we must take into consideration not just the expense of implementing the device, but also grid access and maintenance costs, which could entail large fixed costs that are not met by the customer. 

A bold OPS deployment strategy must be matched by a bold OPS funding strategy, according to ESPO.

Finally, ESPO emphasized that OPS implementation requires time and should be measured against other technology that can be implemented in the same period (10-15 years).

ESPO stated in its Communication “Towards an Intelligent Regulatory Process for OPS” that it wishes to contribute constructively to the drafting and further consideration of two forthcoming Commission recommendations outlining strategy and conditions for the deployment and usage of onshore power supply. 

The first is the FuelEU Maritime plan, which discusses shipping’s need for renewable fuels, like OPS. 

The second item on the agenda is a study of the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive, also known as the “AFID,” which governs fuel supply, including the provision of renewable fuel infrastructure.

View the full report here:

Share this post:


AMG Logistics is a Lagos-based TRACE certified logistics company. Our services include Freight forwarding, Customs clearance, Trucking, Distribution, and Warehousing within Nigeria.



Tel: +234 909 199 9866
+234 909 199 9866
+234 909 199 9841
+234 909 199 9805
+234 909 199 9813

AMG Logistics Locations

7c Creek Road

B3 ground floor
84 Keane Nkrumah Street
Asokoro Business & Lifestyle centre

NAMA Admin Building
Port Harcourt International Airport
River State