11 wind turbines in the Port of Zeebrugge to supply Belgium's largest electric vehicle recharging park with green electricity

International Car Operators (ICO) in Zeebrugge, an important hub for roll-on / roll-off goods handling for worldwide destinations, is executing its energy transition in an impressive way. In collaboration with ENGIE and the Port of Zeebrugge, the terminal will be the location of the largest onshore wind farm on one industrial site in Flanders, with a capacity of 44 MW. ENGIE has also installed the country's largest ”electric charging island”, with 308 recharging points.

It is the largest onshore wind farm project on an industrial site in Flanders run by a single operator : 44 MW of locally produced green energy from 11 wind turbines will be used in the second half of 2020 by the local community, by ICO itself and by moored ships. The annual production amounts to 110 GWh, enough to provide electricity to around 30 000 families and to keep 50,000 tons of CO2 emissions out of the air every year.

The wind turbines are an important step forward in ICO's ambition to create a “green terminal”, but are not the only realization in that context. Earlier this year, ENGIE installed the largest "electric charging island” in Belgium with 154 double recharging points from EVBox, a subsidiary of ENGIE. This impressive infrastructure with a capacity of 3.4 MW has been operational since February 2019. It allows to charge 100 000 electric vehicles per year, which is more than 2000 per week.

Electric charging on a large scale is a challenge. It has to be done in a short span of time, upon the arrival of the vehicles at the Zeebrugge terminal, before their transfer to their destination. The manufacturers’ requirements must also be taken into account, and the cars must be charged efficiently. In order to do so, the company uses intelligent charging software developed by ENGIE Laborelec, which “talks” to the charging points.

This smart charging software will combine electrical charging with the production of renewable energy from the 11 wind turbines. The system will play a central role in demand management, optimising vehicle charging using the output from the wind turbines and the supply from the grid.
ENGIE has been chosen as a partner for the development, construction and operation of the 11 wind turbines and for the development of the electric charging island with 308 charging points. The combination and integration of these two projects via proprietary software and ENGIE’s role in balancing the electricity grid, illustrate ENGIE's ambition to be the leader in zero-carbon transition “as a service”, by offering its customers innovative, tailor-made solutions for completing their own energy transition.

Philippe Van Troeye, CEO of ENGIE Benelux, says: “ENGIE's ambition is to be the leader in zero-carbon transition ‘as a service’ - that is, to provide its clients with the means to transition to zero carbon emissions easily and at the lowest possible cost. This project, which involves the collaboration of several entities within ENGIE, demonstrates our in-depth expertise in various fields.  We are proud to be able to contribute to ICO's climate and energy objectives with our wind turbines and our charging points for electric vehicles.”

Marc Adriansens, Managing Director of ICO Zeebrugge, adds :  “The automotive world is facing a huge challenge in the coming years. EV cars are entering the market. By being able to offer 44 MW of green electricity, ICO is ready to start taking delivery of EV cars. The installation of this wind farm is part of the continuing expansion of our terminal, and both renewable and digital technologies are at the heart of our activities. The ultramodern terminal will be the largest of its kind, covering an area of 200 hectares and with 3.2 km of quayside. State-of-the-art digitisation, innovative handling techniques and green energy are enabling ICO to prepare for the future.”

Joachim Coens, Managing Director Port of Zeebrugge, concludes: “As a non-industrial logistics platform, we want to be a pioneer in the energy transition field by using more and more renewable energy. The Port of Zeebrugge is taking a lead with innovative projects such as the 44 MW wind farm on the ICO site. Taking into account the wind projects planned for the port of Zeebrugge, the total capacity will reach 130 MW in the short term, which is equivalent to the consumption of a city twice the size of Bruges, or 90 000 households.
About ICO
ICO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), one of the world's largest transportation companies. ICO is based in Belgium, at the heart of the European automotive industry. Through the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, we take delivery of more than 2.5 million cars a year for all the major car manufacturers and shipping companies.