Brussels, 23 January 2023  

On the 23rd of January, experts from CINEA and BNP Paribas exchanged views on the topic of OPS funding. The webinar has been moderated by EOPSA (European Onshore Power Supply Association).           

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF) are the key EU financing instruments which have been presented and explained during the webinar. The two main priorities in order for a project to be eligible are:

  1. Facilitation of port access (breakwaters, access channels, locks and navigational aids);
  2. Basic port infrastructure (quay walls, berths, jetties).
    - Zero or low emission solutions such as shore-side electricity and OPS, including for cruise ships, the upgrade of electrical grid and renewable energy generation for OPS or basic infrastructure.

The experts from BNP Paribas have subsequently pointed out the possible constraints related to the OPS, according to their point of view. For instance, some of the identified constraints are the numerous stakeholders involved or potentially interested, the uncertainty about electricity prices leading to uncertainty on projects profitability, the local availability of green power and the mix of public and private stakeholders with different agendas.

On the other hand, they have also underlined its opportunities, such as the port authorities’ interest to co-invest with private investors in part of the OPS infrastructure, the possibility to extend the scope of the OPS project to on-site green power generation and the fact that terminal concession holders are often owned or controlled by ship-owners, who are the ultimate beneficiaries and payers.

BNP Paribas is currently holding bilateral discussions with few identified stakeholders, to understand their respective interests and constraints and building several duplicable business models to facilitate the OPS rolling-out in European ports.

Finally, one of the solutions identified by the experts from BNP is to adapt OPS business cases to local situation. According to the experts, leasing is viewed as the best way to avoid the debt burden for stakeholders. The first option would be to lease financing with a single global power utility selected by the port authority and providing services directly to final users; the second option would be to lease financing directly involving the terminals, which will select themselves their power supplier and generate revenues out of OPS.