Thanks to funding provided by Interreg Europe, ports and port authorities from Italy, France, Bulgaria and Germany have the opportunity to jointly advance on issues of reducing CO2 emissions in ports. During the first phase of the project, the partners developed various solutions and tested them for their suitability for other port locations. The first important project milestone has thus been reached.
The second milestone of the project will focus on the promotion and advancement of identified solutions via so-called action plans. Likely, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg will anchor a funding basis in their future European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) programme. The project’s digital solution ideas for reducing CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles (HDV) can then be funded through this ERDF programme.
Examples for these digital solutions are the digital HDV port traffic systems, digital parking space management, but also a virtual system for road maintenance in the port. With an average of more than 17 000 HDVs on the roads of the port area every day and an average round trip of about 10 kilometres, such a solution in Hamburg offers great potential to reduce not only traffic on roads, but also CO2 emissions.
Other ports are implementing innovative concepts regarding handling, e-mobility in the port, or slot management systems. The Bulgarian partner will connect an industrial company located in the vicinity of the port quayside with conveyor belts, thus saving many truck journeys. All measures particularly aim on minimising truck traffic and their emissions in ports. The port authority of Nantes Saint-Nazaire, in turn, supports the use of alternative fuels for vehicles moving in the port area by supporting the construction of a natural gas filling station on its land.
Even though the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is still omnipresent, the project partners managed to meet twice face-to-face in Italy. Further virtual meetings ensured that the project progressed according to the workplan. Moreover, the exchange of ideas and knowledge was enriched by the participation of external experts. The experts facilitated virtual tours or presented a topic relevant to the project.
Smooth Ports partners were, furthermore, able to take part in European events such as ‘Europe and the Environment’ and ‘European Week of Regions and Cities’. Here, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and its partners were able to present and exchange ideas from the project activities to other experts and the public seeking the dialogue. This leads to a greater outreach and acceptance among the population.
The project partners will implement the action plans in phase two of the project until the beginning of 2023 and continue to communicate with the different stakeholder groups. It is currently planned to organise another closing event in September 2022 to present the project results and to have another face-to-face exchange before the project is completed in 2023.
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