News & Events

May 2021

Vectos appointed to help in greening of European ports

Vectos is a member of an international consortium of 46 partners led by the Port of Antwerp, selected to receive a €25 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The PIONEERS consortium, incorporating leading ports, terminal and transport operators, forwarders, knowledge institutes, technology developers, innovators and public entities, will showcase concrete solutions reducing GHG emissions in ports while safeguarding their competitiveness.

PIONEERS is a highly ambitious 5-year project, rethinking all aspects of port operations ranging from mobility, connectivity, fuels, terminal operations and concession agreements to models for cooperation and production, storage and use of energy. The PIONEERS consortium consists of 19 ambitious demonstrators in the field of clean energy production and supply, sustainable port design, modal shift and flows optimisation, and digital transformation.

Vectos Associate Director and Project Lead Tim Durant said Vectos is delighted to be part of such a remarkable team, set to deliver a project that is so critical to the low carbon agenda.

“Our main role is to ensure co-transferability of the PIONEERS innovation pilots, leading to widespread deployment. We will use our experience of leading exchange and transferability programmes and our knowledge of planning and environmental processes, laws and regulations in order to drive accelerated transfer and deployment of green port solutions amongst PIONEERS partner ports. Our aim is to facilitate measurable progress and secure commitments during and beyond the project timeframe,” he said.

“We will also contribute to various other elements of the project, including development of a new generation of port masterplans that will provide a roadmap towards carbon neutral ports by 2050 and a blueprint that ports not directly involved in the project can apply, tailoring the approach to their own specific contexts.”

As indicated in the PIONEERS concept diagram, the demonstration activities that will be undertaken in one or more of the four ports are divided into four main pillars: Clean Energy Production, Storage and Supply; Sustainable Port Design; Modal Shift and Flows Optimisation; and Digital Transformation.

Some of the key 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 optimised vehicle, vessel and container movements.

The Port of Antwerp will function as lighthouse port, hosting the majority of demonstrators and showcasing a real-life Green Port. The ports of Barcelona, Constanta and Venlo, as fellow ports, will play an active role in maximising the transferability of the solutions and are engaged to implement the best practices from the project.

All of the PIONEERS ports are committed to making the necessary steps towards becoming climate neutral by 2050. This will only be possible through active dialogue and formation of partnerships with a wide stakeholder network. As a European Union Green Deal Innovation Action, PIONEERS is the ideal project to facilitate this and ensure maximum transferability of solutions for sustainable ports.