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Koper port shifting away from fossil fuels

Koper, 24 April (STA) - The port of Koper has launched a new 3.3 MW solar power plant with 15,000 square metres of panels, the tenth such installation on port infrastructure and a part of a long-term strategy to shift away from fossil fuels.

The EUR 2.8 million investment is part of a massive investment cycle valued at more than EUR 100 million that will expand the use of renewables.

The goal is to increase total solar capacity to 10 MW by 2030, a quarter of the port's projected energy needs at the end of the decade, Luka Koper CEO Nevenka Križan told the press on Wednesday.

By 2030 the port's electricity consumption will have increased substantially as machinery and vehicles currently running on fossil fuels will become electric, according to Križan.

One of the biggest consumers of electricity will be the electrification of piers where docked ships will be supplied with electricity from land instead of relying on their fossil fuel powered generators.

The project involves building a new power line from Dekani further inland to the port, and then installing a powerful network within the port, according to Boštjan Pavlič, who heads the port's ecology department.

Boris Sučić, an energy management expert from the Jožef Stefan Institute, said this was a challenging project because a single ship may need up to 20 MW of power.

If the connections are not carefully planned, such a load could lead to blackouts across the entire region, he said.

Sučić is confident that with all the projects combined, by 2050 the port will use less electricity than now while handling double the amount of cargo.

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