The number of environment-friendly seagoing ships calling at the port of Antwerp is increasing year by year, according to the results of the Environment Ship Index (ESI) introduced in Antwerp in 2011. This index enables ports to grant a discount on port dues for ships that make a significant contribution to reducing emissions of pollutants such as NOx and SOx. In 2012 there were 462 calls in Antwerp by ships that qualified for the discount. Two years later the number had risen to 501, and during the first nine months of 2015 the port had already granted discounts for 671 calls.
Antwerp was one of the group of ports that first introduced the ESI in 2010, along with Le Havre, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Hamburg. The index, developed as part of the World Port Climate Initiative (WPCI), gives a score for ships that emit fewer pollutants than the legal minimum imposed by the IMO and EU.
The benefits granted for a particular ESI score are up to each individual port. If a shipping company wishes to enjoy these benefits it has to submit the relevant information on the website www.environmentalshipindex.org. This website is managed by a neutral, independent secretariat of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).
The decision to grant discounts in Antwerp was one of the measures in the port’s action plan for particulates and NOx. In Antwerp a discount of 10% is accorded for all calls by ships with a score of 31 or more. The introduction of the measure is one of the many initiatives taken by the port of Antwerp to promote sustainable enterprise, as described in the third Sustainability Report published at the end of October this year.
The fifth anniversary of the ESI was celebrated at a meeting in Paris on 3 and 4 December, coinciding with the climate summit meeting being held in the French capital at that time.