Awareness has raised among African port cities about the role they can play in food logistics and supply. Pioneering innovation: the first fruit export by train has been carried out from Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia) to the port of Djibouti, where refrigerated containers can be shipped to European markets. This has been possible thanks to a technical aid from the port of Rotterdam (The Netherlands). An integrated railway and cold storage network (NCLN) will allow Ethiopian producers to import and export food through the port of Djibouti.
Import-export is one possibility, but local production turns out to be an essential asset to ensure food supply. Port cities have a card to play, as in Kribi (Cameroon) where a “Green belt” will be developed around the port to produce vegetables and daily life food for the city.
Born from sea water, port cities have also a role to play in drinkable water. In Douala (Cameroon), the port has created a company to produce and distribute drinkable water. The CEO of the port has ensured of its support to the city in case of water shortage. A “refreshing” cooperation!
Energy transition and circular economy
The first “BioHub Port” in Malaysia will be built in the province of Sarawak. Its total cost is estimated to 4 million € and it is expected to start in early 2021. This biomass hub will be built thanks to a collaboration between Malaysian companies and the Port of Rotterdam, which is a member of AIVP. The local partner, Port of Bintulu, has elaborated a “Smart Digital Green Port Blueprint initiative” which integrates the future biomass hub, and should contribute to add 35 000 new jobs.
In Singapore, the Port of Jurong has installed a 9.65 megawatt solar photovoltaic system whose electricity will be used both for port operations and for the city’s power supply. In addition, the port is testing an artificial intelligence-driven system which will further reduce its carbon footprint, and has started to electrify and automate its cranes and ground vehicles. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and its partners have set aside S$40 million for R&D in low-carbon technologies.
As many cities struggle to boost their economy over the brutal recession triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak, Port-City cooperation is a key-asset for efficient stimulus programs.
In Canada, a joint recovery plan has been elaborated by the Port and the City of Québec, with the help of the University of Laval and the local Chamber of commerce and industry. They agreed on collectively stimulating innovation and transport. Several ambitious projects are on track, such as a new container terminal called “Laurentia”, an innovation hub along the river, or a new regional transport scheme.
Same idea in Spain, where the Port and the City of Ceuta have concluded a new protocol on the development of the cruise sector. This protocol focuses on the welcoming conditions of tourists and the services the city and the port can provide them.
However, for post pandemic recovery there must be not only business-oriented investments: Port of Long Beach (United States) has integrated public health projects in its 46m$ community grants program. In such a period of sanitary crisis, no doubt that health will be part of the new economy!
A new edition of the I.S.Rivers international conference will be held in Lyons in June 2021, to allow scientists, operators and users of rivers to come together, share their experiences and engage in dialogue to promote sustainable management of their waterways. AIVP is one of the event’s partners.
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