EFIP members meet in Ghent (BE) to discuss the Seine-Scheldt project and the energy transition
On 13 October 2022, EFIP members gathered in Ghent (Belgium) for their annual Executive Committee meeting. The meeting was hosted by De Vlaamse Waterweg nv.
EFIP members in Ghent
The Executive Committee meeting was followed by an interactive Open Session on the Seine-Scheldt project and the Ports and Energy Transition Study, with Mr Frank Serpentier, Program manager Seine-Scheldt, and the Royal Haskoning DHV team composed of Mr Michiel Nijboer, Senior Investment Consultant, Mr Hans Vermij, IWT Sector Director/IWT Expert, and Ms Lisa Meijer, Port and coastal engineer.
Key questions posed to Frank Serpentier, Program manager Seine-Scheldt, during the session included: ‘what lessons can we learn from the Seine-Scheldt project?’; ‘what impact will the Seine-Scheldt have on the inland shipping sector?’; ‘what will the energy transition look like for inland ports?’
Ports and Energy Transition Study
Secondly, Michiel Nijboer, Senior Investment Consultant at Royal Haskoning DHV, and his team discussed the Energy Transition Study with regards to the opportunities and challenges for inland ports. The study on the implications of the changing energy landscape on Europe’s ports was released in June. The aim of the study is to draw a comprehensive picture of the impact of the energy transition on Europe’s ports, in particular in terms of spatial planning and infrastructure needs, as well as on the role of the port managing bodies.
The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A session, moderated by Mr. Turi Fiorito, EFIP Director.
Dominique van Hecke, General Director, De Vlaamse Waterweg nv. : “The Seine-Scheldt project will put into service the link between both the Scheldt and the Seine basins by 2030, with a view to further developing the inland waterway network in the subsequent years. Once fully operational, the network should enable the IWT sector to prove that it can deliver a substantial contribution to the much needed modal shift in this part of Europe and be a sustainable part of the mobility mix of the future. As such, Seine-Escaut could in the long term aspire to be an example for other IWT projects in Europe.
Antoine Berbain, President of EFIP, said: “The Seine-Scheldt is one of the primary inland shipping projects of the EU. It will not only connect the largest waterborne sections of Europe, it will also show the added value of expanding our sector.”
Executive Committee members had then the chance to visit the Sint-Baafs-Vijve lock (Seine-Scheldt project) and the River Terminal in Wielsbeke.
Vessel in Sint-Baafs-Vijve
Background information on EFIP
The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) brings together nearly 200 inland ports and port authorities in 18 countries of the European Union, and Switzerland, Serbia and Ukraine.
EFIP actively follows all developments in the field of EU transport and environmental policy of importance to inland ports and their environment, and represents the inland ports vis-à-vis the European institutions and other international bodies. EFIP offers its members the possibility to exchange information, expertise and best practices with colleagues in other countries.