From the 20th until the 22nd of June 2016, the TEN-T Days were held in Rotterdam. During those days, the key policy axes of the trans-European networks where discussed, among which is the Motorways of the Sea.
Many important people participated to the TEN-T Days as speakers, such as Mrs. Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, the President of the European Investment Bank Mr. Werner Hoyer and Vice President of the European Commission Mr. Maroš Šefčovič.
In a special session held for the presentation of the Detailed Implementation Plan of the Motorways of the Sea, Mr. Manuel Grimaldi, CEO-Grimaldi, Mr. Niclas Mårtensson, Deputy CEO-Stena , Mr. Paolo Costa, CEO-Port of Venice and the President of the Short-Sea Ship-owners Association, Mr. Charalampos Simantonis and the CEO of Europa Venture Mr. Panagiotis Zacharioudakis participated as main speakers in the section of shipping partners.
In the DIP, there are extensive references to HSSA, Europa Venture and to the President of the HSSA for their involvement in all the preparatory processes for the finalization of the Plan, involving national authorities, associations and private organizations from all over Europe such as ECSA, Grimaldi etc., making the integration of Europa Ship Plan a Greek success.
In particular, under the Axis “Environment” and under the objective of reducing air pollutants from ships, the Detailed Implementation Plan makes reference to the ESP as “an attractive solution forward as it is in parallel revitalizing the European shipbuilding and ship equipment manufacture industry”.
Furthermore, it is stated in the DIP that:
The main challenge in the ship building process of a vessel that can use LNG as fuel is the cost, which is increased by 25% compared to a ship which does not have the corresponding technology. On an EU level, the average age of vessels operating in Short Sea is 20 years, while the corresponding age for the Southern vessels is higher reaching the 25 years. Considering this, the retrofitting option becomes a non-feasible one for the vast majority of the fleet and “the implementation of ESP in the Short Sea Fleet of South Europe through the shipbuilding of new innovative green vessels seems as the optimum and only possible solution.” Furthermore, “Although a renewal plan for south Short Sea Shipping is a first priority, the southern attempt for green compliance gives equal importance to the retrofit / re-engine of vessels and the installation of environmental equipment onboard vessels, therefore providing a complete solution”
Regarding Europa Venture, the special purpose vehicle, created for the implementation of Europa Ship Plan, the DIP mentions that: “Considering this emerging needs currently prevailing, EV, provides invaluable financial support to these companies for their smooth adoption of the upcoming European legislation initiating in 2018 with the reporting of annual emissions of large vessels using every EU port and the implementation of the goals towards climate change in 2020. The innovative approach of EV, focuses on obtaining the best quotation for shipbuilding or ship retrofitting of vessels in EU shipyards, using EU equipment”.
Mr. Simantonis in his speech expressed his satisfaction regarding the inclusion of the Greek proposal in the DIP. He stated that this proposal constitutes a European sustainable solution to the prolonged exclusion of the shipping sector from the necessary financial funds.
The renewal of the SSS fleet has been for decades, a timeless proposal of HSSA, so as the Hellenic SSS fleet to enhance its presence in EU level, while at the same time this could serve economic and national objectives. Today for the first time EU recognizes fleet ageing as an obstacle for the development of SSS and as such formulate appropriate strategies.
Mr. Zacharioudakis, in his intervention, referred to the special financing needs of the SSS and the specific characteristics of Greece as an insular country.
Mr. Vasilis Terzis, Vice President of the HSSA and Mr. Dimitris Spiridakis BoD member also participated in this event.
The full text of the Detailed Implementation Plan can be found: