European subsidy for shore power at Zeebrugge cruise terminal

European subsidy for shore power at Zeebrugge cruise terminal

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is to receive a European grant of 3.2 million euros for a shore power installation for cruise ships in Zeebrugge. From 2026, cruise ships will be able to purchase green electricity when docked. It will be four years before this becomes mandatory across Europe.

Port of Antwerp-Bruges' ambition is to accelerate the energy transition in the maritime sector. ​ The cruise terminal at the Zweedse Kaai in Zeebrugge is operated (as the only terminal) by the Port Authority itself, making it an ideal place to put that ambition into action.

The plans to build a shore power facility here fit within the project call from the EU's Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF) programme as part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The Port Authority submitted the project and, today, the EU announced 3.2 million euros in subsidies for the shore power installation.

Cruise ships consume a lot of energy while at the dock. Thanks to the shore power installation, cruise ships docking in Zeebrugge will be able to switch to green electricity from the high-voltage grid. This eliminates the need for them to generate their own electricity with diesel generators. That means no more emissions and also eliminates the noise from the running generators. In this way the impact on the environment, climate and surroundings reduces substantially.

In the meantime, the process is underway for appointing a partner to build, maintain and operate the shore power system. Talks about that are in the final stages.


Dirk De Fauw, Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: "With the Port of Antwerp-Bruges shore power installation at our cruise terminal, the impact of cruise ships on our environment will be very much reduced. We are ahead of the European regulations with this. This subsidy recognises Port of Antwerp-Bruges' efforts to accelerate the energy transition in the maritime sector. ​ We are taking the lead here with a shore power installation at the only terminal we operate ourselves."
Rob Smeets, Chief Operations Officer at Port of Antwerp-Bruge: "Port of Antwerp-Bruges makes significant efforts to accelerate the energy transition in the maritime sector. This shore power installation is certainly not our first step in this field. Similarly, more sustainable fuels such as methanol and LNG are available at our port for ships that can run on them."
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About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 271 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management.

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to

Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp