Port of Antwerp to lead Pioneers Consortium to green European ports
The Port of Antwerp will lead an international consortium with 46 partners to make the European ports ‘greener’. ‘Pioneers’, as the project is called, will get a 25-million-euros subsidy from the European Horizon 2020 program to develop solutions against greenhouse gas emissions. The project has a timeframe of five years, starting at the end of 2021.
Participating partners are leading ports, terminal and transport operators, knowledge institutes, technology developers, innovators, and public entities. Together they aim at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the harbors by switching to electric vehicles and installing digital platforms to promote the modal shift, among other things.
Pioneers is an ambitious project, rethinking all aspects of port operations ranging from terminal operations, concession agreements, mobility, connectivity, fuels to models for cooperation and production, storage, and energy use.
The actions include renewable energy generation and deployment of electric, hydrogen, and methanol vehicles; building and heating networks retrofit for energy efficiency; implementation of circular economy approaches in infrastructure works; automation; and deployment of digital platforms to promote modal shift and ensure optimized vehicle, vessel, and container movements.
‘Time for action’
The Port of Antwerp will lead the project; the ports of Barcelona (Spain), Constanta (Romania), and Venlo (the Netherlands), as fellow-ports, will play an active role in maximizing the transferability of the solutions and are engaged to implement the best practices from the project.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: “Port of Antwerp aims to be the first world port that reconciles economy, people, and climate. If we want to be climate-neutral by 2050, we have to act now.”
The well-chosen name of the project – Pioneers – stands for Portable Innovation Open Network for Efficiency and Emissions Reduction Solutions.