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The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge will continue their growth trajectory under one name: Port of Antwerp-Bruges. At the extraordinary general meeting of April 2022, the two cities signed the shareholders’ agreement of the unified port company. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is sharing the concrete manifestation of its ambition – to become a world port that reconciles economy, people and climate – with the rest of the world.
Large-scale but sustainable ambitions
In February 2021, the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges announced the launch of the merger process for their respective ports. Following the signing of the shareholders’ agreement of the unified port company in April 2022, the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge will operate under one name going forward: Port of Antwerp-Bruges.
This unified port provides no fewer than 74,000 direct and 90,000 indirect jobs and with an added value of nearly €21 billion or 4.5% of Belgian GDP, is by far the largest economic engine in our country. Europe’s largest export port, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges will also be the largest throughput port for vehicles, the largest integrated chemical cluster and one of the leading container ports in Europe.
Port of Antwerp-Bruges has the express ambition of becoming the first global port to reconcile economy, people and climate. The unified port plans to further strengthen its position in the international logistics chain, take a leading role in the energy and digital transition, and at the same time create sustainable added value for society as a whole. Not just for the area of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, but also for all possible stakeholders in the wider national and international region.
Strengthening the global position in challenging times
In the current geopolitical and macroeconomic context, the merger is a golden opportunity to put the Antwerp and Zeebrugge port sites, and by extension Flanders, in an even stronger position on the world map. Port of Antwerp-Bruges will capitalise on the strengths of both port locations and focus its strategy on containers, breakbulk, RoRo traffic and chemicals. More than ever, Port of Antwerp-Bruges will play a crucial role in major freight flows and reinforce its position as one of the main gateways to Europe. The unified port has also become Europe’s largest export port – with 147 million tons/year – making it a global heavyweight.
As a leading container port by tonnage – with 159 million tons/year – Port of Antwerp-Bruges aims to meet the need for container capacity due to global growth and recent developments in the international logistics chain. In parallel with the implementation of the Extra Container Capacity Antwerp (ECA) project, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is working on a ‘Container Plan 22-30’ to safeguard its competitive position. Elsewhere, Port of Antwerp-Bruges continues to invest in strategic infrastructure including the Europa Terminal in Antwerp, as well as the New Lock and the Maritime Logistics Zone in Zeebrugge.
By focusing on bolstering interconnectivity between the Antwerp and Bruges sites and achieving economies of scale in the area of digitisation, the unified port will contribute to the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of the logistics chain. In short, Port of Antwerp-Bruges has all of the tools at its disposal to play an increasingly important role on the global logistics stage.
Port of Antwerp-Bruges will combine the best of both worlds and will focus on the strengths of each site. The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are largely complementary – for example, Antwerp has strengths in the handling and storage of containers, breakbulk and chemical products, while Zeebrugge is a major port for RoRo traffic, container handling and the transshipment of liquid natural gas. By working more closely together, the sustainable growth of the individual and combined market shares of both ports will be perpetuated.
Pioneer in hydrogen and CO2 reuse
Port of Antwerp-Bruges intends to anchor its position as a green energy hub and help shape the energy transition towards a sustainable future. The unified port will continue and extend its pioneering project for the capture, storage and reuse of CO2. Via Antwerp@C, the first 2.5 million tons of CO2 will be captured from industry on the port by 2025. This CO2 will be stored and eventually reused as a raw material for a wide range of applications.
In addition, the combination of Antwerp’s position as the second largest petrochemical cluster in the world and the coastal position of Zeebrugge provides a unique opportunity to take a leading role in the roll-out of the hydrogen economy. By 2028, Port of Antwerp-Bruges plans to have the capacity to receive the first green hydrogen molecules on its platform. To this end, it is working to expand terminal capacity for existing and new hydrogen carriers at both port sites. A hydrogen pipeline between the two sites and towards the European hinterland will ensure that the port area as a whole and, by extension, Belgium and a large part of Europe, can make use of this important carrier for renewable energy.
Finally, Port of Antwerp-Bruges will offer various peerless strengths in innovation and digitisation that will make the logistical chain not only more efficient, but also safer and more reliable. By combining forces and focusing on connection and collaboration, and thanks to strategic investments, Port of Antwerp-Bruges and, by extension, our society, will be able to meet the challenges of the future.
Annick De Ridder, Vice-Mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “The unified port is not only the economic engine of Flanders, buttogether, the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge will also form the largest export port , largest throughput port for vehicles, and the leading chemical hub in Europe! At the same time, Port of Antwerp-Bruges has major ambitions to become the energy gateway to Europe as a ‘green port’. In short, Flemish economic history is being written here today”.
Dirk De fauw, Mayor of the City of Bruges and Vice-President of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “As Mayor of the City of Bruges and Vice-President of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, I am convinced that this merger will lead to sustainable growth in economic activity and jobs in both sites, and boost Flanders’ international reputation around the world. Together, we are stronger”.
The Port of Valencia begins electrification of its docks
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A new step in the decarbonisation of the Port of Valencia and its firm commitment to be an emission neutral site by 2030. The Port Authority of Valencia (APV) has put out to tender the drafting and execution of the works for the electrical connection to ships for the Transversal Costa-MSC quay. This is the first electrification or Onshore Power Supply (OPS) project to be carried out by Valenciaport in the Valencian precinct.
The APV is thus initiating the procedure for the award of the contract for the drafting and execution of the project for the installation of electrical connections for ships and the maintenance of the same at the Transversal de Costa quay. To this end, Valenciaport has jointly launched the drafting of the construction project, the execution of its works and the maintenance of the installations in the same procedure for an amount of 12,468,626.8 euros (VAT included).
Onshore Power Supply (OPS) electrification infrastructures have been consolidated as a very useful tool for the decarbonisation of ports, as this system avoids the use of auxiliary engines of ships when they are docked in the enclosures. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions – due to the use of electricity that eliminates the consumption of fossil fuels used in these auxiliary engines – and stops the emission of particles and polluting gases.
This OPS initiative in the Port of Valencia will be carried out in parallel with the works on the new electrical substation – a second substation is also planned – which was put out to tender last month with a base budget of around 11 million euros and a completion period of 24 months. This infrastructure will be responsible for supplying green energy to the first OPS electrification project of the Transversal de Costa-MSC quay.
In this regard, Joan Calabuig, president of Valenciaport, stressed that “these are just two examples of real projects in the execution phase that confirm the firm commitment that Valenciaport is making to achieve the goal of being a zero-emissions port by 2030, twenty years ahead of the European Green Pact. It is a commitment to sustainability and to the society of our environment that is supported by initiatives such as the electrification of the docks, the use of hydrogen in port operations, the installation of photovoltaic plants or the commitment to intermodality with the railway. We are committed to sustainable growth that reinforces our position as a port of reference in the Mediterranean”.
Project included in the Next Generation Funds
The joint contracting of the preparation of the project and the execution of the corresponding works in the same procedure is carried out in response to the fact that there are no references in Europe compatible with the ISO/IEC/IEEE 80005 standard and in Spain there is currently no previous experience of OPS projects in operation with the characteristics of the pilot project defined by the Port Authority of Valencia. The combination of the individual components required for this type of installation (transformers, protection cells, disconnectors, frequency converters, etc.) with infrastructures for supplying electricity to ships requires specific projects, with technically complex solutions that have to be designed specifically for each location. In addition, and given that the execution of the construction project is subsidised by the European Union’s Next Generation funds and the Spanish Government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the joint tender is the only way to meet the established deadlines, since if two separate contracts were launched, the one for the execution of the construction project could not be launched until the one for the drafting of the construction project had been awarded, which would mean that the work would be completed beyond the deadline for the execution of the works to meet the target set by Europe.
MOL joins GCMD as impact partner to accelerate decarbonisation
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The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation GCMD and MOL announced the signing of a five-year Impact Partnership agreement. On the same day, both parties held a signing ceremony at the GCMD office in Singapore.
Decarbonisation in the maritime industry is a challenge that needs to be achieved through accelerating collaboration and increasing investment by shipping companies, their customers, ports, energy suppliers and public sector actors. As an Impact Partner of GCMD, MOL will utilise its expertise developed over their long history and make various contributions and collaborations through its participation in GCMD’s projects, including providing access to vessels, operating data and evaluation reports so that internal learnings can be shared publicly and used for future trials.
MOL is one of the world’s leaders in the maritime industry and has been leading worldwide discussions on achieving decarbonisation. The carbon budget concept imposes a ceiling to the cumulative amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) that can be emitted globally in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius by 2050. Intermediate targets to reduce emissions, in addition to a net-zero target, are necessary. While plans are in place to adopt low or zero emissions vessels in the future, it is important to deploy measures to reduce emissions now. Such measures include the use of low-carbon and transition fuels that are available today, and deploying energy savings devices onboard vessels. MOL will bring its extensive capabilities and experience to bear as it joins GCMD and existing partners to accelerate international shipping’s decarbonisation.
Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, said: “We are proud to have MOL, one of the leading shipowners in Japan, come onboard as an Impact Partner. We are excited to tap on MOL’s track record in developing technical energy efficiency measures to broaden our perspective as we scope an initiative to help increase industry adoption of measures that can increase fuel efficiency of ships.”
Toshiaki Tanaka, Representative Director, Executive Vice President Executive Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of MOL, said: “We are very pleased to be a partner of one of the most important global coalitions. We will make our biggest effort to contribute and accelerate progress towards the net zero future in maritime industry, together with GCMD and all its partners.”
About the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) was set up on 1 August 2021 as a non-profit organisation. Our strategic partners include the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BHP, BW Group, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Foundation Det Norske Veritas, Ocean Network Express, Seatrium, bp, Hapag-Lloyd and NYK. Beyond the strategic partners, GCMD has brought on board 15 partners that engage at the centre level, in addition to more than 80 partners that engage at the project level.
Strategically located in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub and second largest container port, GCMD aims to help the industry eliminate GHG emissions by shaping standards for future fuels, piloting low-carbon solutions in an end-to-end manner under real-world operations conditions, financing first-of-a-kind projects, and fostering collaboration across sectors.
Wan Hai Lines establishes its new office in India
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Aiming to further enhance service quality and gain a stronger foothold in the Indian sub-continent, Wan Hai Lines has established its India new office in Kolkata in July 2023. Contact details for the new office are as follows: WAN HAI LINES (INDIA) PVT. LTD 3rd Floor, Block C, Apeejay House, 15 Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700016 TEL: 91-33-4450 4500 According to the 2023 Foreign Trade Policy announced by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India’s export trade volume will reach 2 trillion US dollars in 2030.
Therefore, benefiting from government policy incentives and the shifting trend of the global supply chain, India’s status in global manufacturing and international trade is increasing, which is conducive to maintaining long-term high economic growth. And the proportion of global exports has increased significantly. In addition, the continuous economic stimulus policy will help revitalize the domestic economy, and domestic demand is expected to increase significantly. Therefore, Wan Hai is optimistic about India’s future import and export situation. And also through the establishment of a new office to improve the overall operating efficiency.
Wan Hai India Kolkata office held a grand opening reception in the evening of 27th July. During the banquet, there were many important customers & guests. The Kolkata Port Authority, Kolkata terminal operators, feeder operators and important local customers were invited to send representatives to attend the meeting to express their blessings to Wan Hai’s opening of the Kolkata market. At present, Wan Hai has six owned offices in India, namely Mumbai, Chennai, Mundra, and Vizag, Delhi and the sixth office Kolkata office. In addition to directly providing river port services, it will also simultaneously strengthen service links between India and neighboring countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan. It is expected to pursue customer first through continuous expansion in the future and sustainable business philosophy.