BilbOPS is a strategic investment project drawn up by the Bilbao Port Authority for the electrification of the container, cruise-liner and ferry wharves by deploying OPS (Onshore Power Supply) technology, also known as cold-ironing, with 11 connection points.
This technology enables vessels with the right equipment to connect to the onshore power supply while they are berthed, and disconnect their diesel motors. This does away with emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, nitrogen & sulphur dioxide), vibrations and noise and is thus beneficial to the environment and to human health.
BilbOPS will bring the Port of Bilbao closer to meeting the EU’s “Fit For 55” targets by cutting its GHG emissions by 40%.
Along with other measures being taken, this will enable the port to meet the target of a 55% drop in emissions by 2030 set by the EU.
BilbOPS will mark a qualitative leap forward on the Atlantic Rim, adapting the infrastructure of the Port of Bilbao and providing a new service.
It will have a networking effect that will help deploy this infrastructure across leading European ports, encouraging shipping companies to make the investments required for their vessels to be able to connect to onshore power grids.
BilbOPS is part of the OPS Master Plan for Spanish Ports coordinated by Puertos de Estado (the State Ports authority).
For the planet:
The Port of Bilbao is to add 30 MW of installed power capacity for OPS, scheduled to come in line in 2025.
To that end:
The project can be modulated and re-scaled in line with demand.
Sustainably generated electricity
The 30 MW renewables hub will be generating green energy of various types by 2027.
BilbOPS stands alongside other projects by Petronor/Repsol(GasineraLNG) and the hydrogen and e-fuel plant. These projects are mutually complementary and provide shipping companies with a range of options and services in terms of alternative fuels. They place the Port of Bilbao at the forefront in terms of meeting the targets set by the EU.
Like the Port of Bilbao, other leading European ports on the Atlantic Corridor are also taking action to reduce the external costs of maritime transport. Together with cleaner energy sources, the provision of quayside Onshore Power Supply systems to vessels can substantially reduce GHG emissions and noise.
Investing in OPS facilities at the ports along a corridor or sea route will encourage shipping companies to move more quickly in adapting their vessels.
The Port of Bilbao has worked with other European ports, with the shipping companies that use its facilities, with the main associations in the sector and with other stakeholders to determine exactly what infrastructure is needed to electrify its wharves. The final project was submitted as a proposal to the EU, where it received 34 letters of support.
This network of contacts forms the basis for the BilbOPS Forum. This forum will meet annually to share best practices, innovative solutions, service systems, etc. and continue cooperation.
The Port Authority of Bilbao and the European Commission have signed the grant contract for the BilbOPS project, within the CEF Transport 2021-2027 Programme, triggering the receipt of a pre-financing advance of EUR 5 million to start the work. This initiative requires an investment of EUR 51.8 million, of which 30% (around EUR 14.2 million) will be subsidised through this CEF Transport call for proposals. In addition, a grant of EUR 4.3 million for the new A5 Quay has been secured for the project through the Recovery and Resilience Plan. The first of the BilbOPS project tenders will be launched at the first quarter of 2023 , with the new facilities scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.
The BilbOPS project is supported by two different European programmes. On the one hand, the CEF Transport 2021-2027 programme will finance 30% of the works to be done on common infrastructure, the photovoltaic equipment and the installations on Quays A1, A2, A6, Az3 and the cruise ship quays in Getxo.
In addition, the Recovery and Resilience Facility has awarded EUR 4.5 million for a pilot test of the power supply to vessels at Quay A5.
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