Nov 21

Energy auto-supply, a future challenge for terminals. The case of BEST

BEST installs half an hectare of solar panels on the roofs of its buildings.

Hutchison Ports BEST terminal has installed 1,832 solar panels on almost half an hectare of its buildings. BEST has already contracted electricity with a 100% renewable origin guarantee at the beginning of 2022, and thus maintains its strong commitment to the decarbonisation of the sector.

This is an auto-supply installation capable of generating 1.18 GWh of electricity, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of about 200 homes. The installed power is almost 1 MW (833.56 kW). The company in charge of installing the panels is Solar Profit.

Estefanía Soler, head of sustainability at BEST, stated: “These efforts contribute to further reducing the terminal’s carbon footprint, with BEST’s emissions being 65% lower than conventional manual terminals.

On Friday 18 November, BEST received a visit from a delegation from the Port of Barcelona, with Damià Calvet as the highest authority, to see the installation of the solar panels in situ. Calvet stated that “in the Port Community of Barcelona we are working together to promote the decarbonisation of port activity. Achieving the goal of having a carbon neutral port is everyone’s responsibility and actions such as this one by BEST are the way to achieve it”.

BEST is one of the most sustainable terminals in the Mediterranean thanks to its operations model, based on semi-automation and the use of mostly electric cranes, which in turn generates very high productivity.

High terminal productivity helps shipping lines reduce the time spent in port and the speed of travel to the next port, which reduces air emissions and the vessel’s carbon footprint. In addition, BEST is working with the Barcelona Port Authority to electrify its quay and allow ships to connect to electricity during their stay at the terminal.

Carbon footprint is a very important issue for shipping companies, especially now, as new European regulations have introduced shipping into the carbon market and the International Maritime Organisation requires reporting on the energy efficiency of ships and their carbon intensity.

The company’s goal is to help supply chains become sustainable. Citizens demand sustainable products and that means sustainable logistics.

This solar panel initiative is part of BEST’s sustainability strategy and reinforces its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the 2030 Agenda on “Affordable and Clean Energy”.

BEST was inaugurated 10 years ago and is a benchmark in terms of sustainability within the terminals of the Hutchison Ports group, which operates 52 terminals in 26 countries.

Finally, it is worth remembering the group’s commitment to rail and to removing lorries from the road to reduce atmospheric emissions. In 10 years, BEST has increased local rail traffic in the Port of Barcelona from 3% to 20%. This is thanks to BEST’s own rail terminal, investment in inland intermodal terminals in northern Spain (in Zaragoza, Noain, Villafría, Agoncillo and Miranda de Ebro) and the creation of its rail operator, Synergy, which helps to extend the Port of Barcelona’s area of influence.