Led by the Port of Antwerp and with the participation of the ports of Barcelona, Constanta and Venlo, the EU-funded PIONEERS project is a consortium comprising 46 partners that will showcase a range of activities for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in ports while safeguarding competitiveness. PIONEERS will develop specific solutions to reduce carbon emissions in the sector, with the aim of transforming ports into green infrastructures by 2050. Solutions include the implementation of green port innovation demonstrations on clean energy production and supply, the deployment of electric, hydrogen and methanol vehicles, sustainable port design, modal shift and flows optimisation, and digital transformation through AI- and 5G-based digital platforms.
PIONEERS brings together four ports with different characteristics, but shared commitments towards meeting the Green Deal goals and Blue Growth socio-economic aims, in order to address the challenge for European ports of reducing GHG emissions while remaining competitive. In order to achieve these ambitions, the Ports of Antwerp, Barcelona, Venlo and Constanta will implement green port innovation demonstrations across four main pillars: clean energy production and supply, sustainable port design, modal shift and flows optimization, and digital transformation.
Actions include: renewable energy generation and deployment of electric, hydrogen and methanol vehicles; building and heating networks retrofit for energy efficiency and implementation of circular economy approaches in infrastructure works; together with deployment of digital platforms (utilising AI and 5G technologies) to promote modal shift of passengers and freight, ensure optimised vehicle, vessel and container movements and allocations, and facilitate vehicle automation. These demonstrations form integrated packages aligned with other linked activities of the ports and their neighbouring city communities. Forming an Open Innovation Network for exchange, the ports, technology and support partners will progress through project phases of innovation demonstration, scale-up and co-transferability. Rigorous innovation and transfer processes will address technology evaluation and business case development for exploitation, as well as creating the institutional, regulatory and financial frameworks for green ports to flourish from technical innovation pilots to widespread solutions. These processes will inform and be undertaken in parallel with masterplan development and refinement, providing a Master Plan and roadmap for energy transition at the PIONEERS ports, and handbook to guide green port planning and implementation for different typologies of ports across Europe.