Assarmatori: “Cold ironing in key for the decarbonisation of the sector: avoid uncoordinated and harmful interventions in ports”

Following the conclusion of the negotiations regarding the FuelEU Maritime, Assarmatori welcomes the agreement related to the AFIR Regulation. Key for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, the AFIR Regulation should further develop the necessary infrastructures for the employment of alternative fuels as well as fostering the uptake of Cold-Ironing systems, a process already initiated by the AFID (Directive on infrastructure for alternative fuels) via mandatory national targets.

In accordance with the FuelEU Maritime initiative, 2030 will be the deadline for TEN-T ports (that see at least 50 port calls by large passenger vessels or 100 port calls by container vessels) to have shore side electricity infrastructure in place to serve the demand from container and passenger ships and, by 2025, liquefied natural gas refuelling points (LNG, liquefied biogas, synthetic liquefied methane and their mixtures) must be active in ensuring the availability of alternative fuels.

“Ensuring the necessary alignment of the cold ironing obligations imposed on ships by FuelEU Maritime with the corresponding infrastructure-level requirements established with the AFIR was one of our main requests – comments the President of Assarmatori Stefano Messina – We also highly welcome the provision regarding the fuel-supplier responsibility in the event in which the ship is unable to connect to the network due to the lack or malfunctioning of the system even if it is equipped for shore-to-ship power solutions. Shipowners have already invested as Cold-ironing systems are crucial to comply with the FuelEU Maritime regulation as well as to IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), whose current framework heavily penalizes vessels in ports.

As known, 700 million euros have been allocated within the Subsidiary Fund to the NPRR for the development of Cold-Ironing systems. A national consolidate framework is necessary, argues Assarmatori’s President Stefano Messina, to ensure that the above-mentioned systems are appropriately placed in economic and environmental terms. Carrying out uncoordinated and different interventions not only between each Port System Authority, but also within the same port of call, would lead to a huge public resources waste without achieving the desired results in terms of emissions’ reduction. A targeted and uniform infrastructural would also guarantee to avert altering the level playing field between terminal operators. A market opening is the only solution for cold ironing, argues President Messina. There would need to be a clear break-up between who will have to build the infrastructure, who will have to supply it, and who will have to maintain it by operating services to the ship. A safe and efficient service, also in economic terms, must be the main goal.