Latest News

HAROPA continues to host major projects for France’s energy transition

In a generally downward-trending economic climate for ports in France and Europe, in 2023 HAROPA PORT registered a marginal decline in its maritime traffic but maintained its Northern Range market share.

France’s leading port complex turned in a satisfactory financial result with turnover of €416m, up by 9.8%, enabling it to stay on its investment trajectory and maintain the same percentage share of finance from own funds. The structural organisation of the green Seine corridor is ongoing, thanks to major new industrial facilities being set up, especially in the new fuels sector, and to the development of multimodality. As a partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris, the Seine Axis Major River and Maritime Port is a participant in the preparation of the Games, an event that provides a major stimulus for the energy transition of the river barge fleet in order to make Paris the world’s first “green” inland port.

“2023 was an intense year for HAROPA PORT. Reflecting the turmoil experienced by the global economy, our traffic figures are slightly down. However, our financial results are satisfactory, and we have numerous prospects for development in this new year 2024. We are inventing the logistics and industry of tomorrow alongside innovative and committed partners. The coming year will bring new challenges and large-scale projects: the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a marvellous opportunity to speed up our energy and environmental transition”, asserts Daniel Havis, Chair of the HAROPA PORT Supervisory Board.

In 2023, HAROPA PORT’s maritime traffic totalled 81.3Mt, slightly down by 4.5% compared with 2022.

Maritime container flows stood at a total of 2.63m TEU, a decline of 15% due mainly to transhipments. This fall reflects an overall decline in containerised volume processed through the Northern Range ports (down by between 6% and 12% depending on the port), a region in which HAROPA PORT maintained its market share. Additionally, the strikes at the beginning of the year impacted container flows along the Seine Axis. Transhipments, a more volatile activity in such periods of traffic disorganisation and irregularity, fell by 31%. Inland traffic stood up significantly better, shrinking by a more modest 10%, in line with the slowdown in the world economy. Another factor for resilience should be underscored: the increase in the number of port calls and the continuation of services are confirmation of shipowners’ confidence in HAROPA PORT. 2023 marks the return of the “IEX-IO3” South Asia service (operators Hapag Lloyd, ONE, COSCO, OOCL and Yang Ming), and the “ SWX-EUROSAL XL” Latin America service (Hapag Lloyd, CMA CGM and COSCO). The end of the year featured the resumption of MSC’s “SPAI-Portugal” feeder service.

In the above context, for 2024 HAROPA PORT implemented a new policy for incentivising and competitive tariffs that will help consolidate traffic, especially for large vessels. A cut of 20% in ships’ port dues is now effective and will increase the number of port calls as well as reinforcing regular services.

At 41.2Mt, liquid bulk saw growth of 5% despite a 2.4% fall in the consumption of petroleum products in France as of end November 2023, according to the UFIP (Union française des industries pétrolières). In particular, this growth was driven by the arrival on stream in September 2023 in LeHavre of the FSRU (LNG floating storage and regasification facility). Another contributing factor in this result was the return to normal operation of Normandy’s refineries after several years of disruption due to technical incidents.

The dry bulk sector registered a fall of 11% with total traffic of 12.7Mt. This decline can be put down in particular to a 14% fall in grain exports, for a total of 7.3Mt, after an excellent year in 2022. The final tonnage figure registered by HAROPA PORT represents 50% of all French grain exports. This fallback in the sector is also due to intense competition from Russia. Expansion in feed barley exports only partially offset this trend. The sector also experienced a decline in aggregates traffic.

Ro-ro traffic fell by 9%, registering a little over 249,000 vehicles. This segment continues to be highly volatile after a year affected by delays in new vehicle purchases notably due to the crisis in semiconductor supply in 2021/2022. HAROPA PORT is adapting to meet the needs of operators by mobilising an extra 20 hectares of its land for vehicle storage.

In 2023, public investment of €126m and €462m invested by the private sector led to a strengthening of the decarbonised industrial ecosystem: A “New Fuels Valley” is coming into being: Having been selected following HAROPA PORT’s call for project proposals in March 2022, Engie is to develop France’s largest facility for the industrial-scale production of renewable, low-carbon fuels. This dual project comprises two plants: Salamandre (biomethane) and KerEAUzen (e-kerosene and hydrogen). The two facilities will produce over 80,000 tonnes of decarbonised fuels for the maritime and aviation sectors. For the KerEAUzen project, Engie is partnering Air France-KLM, which will be main consumer for the e-kerosene on its Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly sites.

Another major project: an industrial plant for the production of low-carbon hydrogen and synthetic fuels is to be set up in Grand-Quevilly in the Rouen Normandy city and district area. After development by the specialist firm Verso Energy, from 2029 this facility will deliver over 50,000 tonnes of hydrogen produced by water electrolysis, for an investment of around €500m. The plant will be accompanied by a production unit for synthetic fuels made from captured, recycled CO2. This new plant will generate 150 direct jobs. The project will thus be contributing to the decarbonisation of the industrial sites in the Rouen port area and will help satisfy strong demand for sustainable fuel from the aviation and maritime industries.

The structural organisation of the decarbonisation strategy is ongoing:HAROPA PORT has also formed, along with Synerzip-LH – INCASE-Industries Caux Seine and UpsideBoucles de Rouen, a non-profit entity: SOCRATE. Its purpose: to drive the roadmap for Seine Axis decarbonisation studies. This project, costing a total of €15m, will receive co-funding of €7.4m from central government as part of a call for project proposals for ZIBACs (Zones Industrielles Bas Carbone) or low-carbon industrial parks.

In addition, HAROPA PORT has joined the ECO2-Normandy consortium the purpose of which is to implement a project for the capture of carbon for reuse and underground storage (CCUS). This consortium comprises Air Liquide, LAT Nitrogen, Esso S.A.F, TotalEnergies and Yara International ASA. HAROPA PORT will be contributing its experience and expertise in port and logistics activities. Ultimately, this industrial partnership will allow a reduction in CO2 emissions across the region of up to 3Mt a year, the equivalent of the emissions of a population of over 600,000.

In 2023, modal shift expanded by one percentage point for river traffic and by 0.2 point for rail traffic leaving Le Havre. This has led to the launch of the Le Havre/Rouen/Longueuil-Sainte Marie/Gennevilliers/Le Havre river service operated by Fluviofeeder Marfret and Le Havre/Bonneuil-sur-Marne for which the operator is Hapag Lloyd, working through Greenmodal. Where rail is concerned, its traffic has been benefited by the launch of a Le Havre/Bordeaux-Bassens service with Ferovergne(Combronde group), a Le Havre/Tours service run by Naviland Cargo, a Le Havre/Clermont-Ferrand operated by Ferovergne (Combronde group), and a service between Bonneuil-sur-Marne and Voutré for which the operator is Les Carrières de L’Ouest (Cinérites group). Also worth noting is a doubling of the frequency of the service provided by Delta Rail to Chalon-sur-Saône.

In Gennevilliers, Paris Terminal SA registered a 1% increase in volume, giving total throughput of 130,895 TEU. Following growth of 1.03% in 2022, this operator has therefore achieved a record high level.

In order to build on this progress, HAROPA PORT is continuing to develop multimodal platforms. At Bruyères-sur-Oise (Val d’Oise), by the end of 2024 MSC’s logistics subsidiary, Medlog, will be operating the multimodal facility developed by HAROPA PORT. The Seine Axis multimodal logistics corridor will be able to make use of this new inland terminal, which forms part of MSC ongoing investment in Le Havre aimed at expanding its container flows.

River transport fluvial is also continuing along its development trajectory with a diversification of the categories of goods carried: for example, the materials required for the building of the Wood Up wood tower in Paris, and the structural timber for Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris were delivered by river in 2023. Ikea is celebrating the first anniversary of its urban river deliveries into central Paris, having supplied more than 70,000 customers via the Seine. It is now the turn of beverages to adopt this mode of transport: trials have been conducted by France Boissons and OBD Grand Paris for deliveries to the capital’s cafés, hotels and restaurants. This latter initiative, which has the support of HAROPA PORT and the French Waterways Authority (VNF) will help reduce road traffic and is part of the logistics preparation necessary for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And lastly, Entente Axe Seine, an organisation comprising the Greater Paris administrative authority, the City of Paris, the Rouen Normandy city and district authority and the Le Havre Seine city and district federation, is continuing to pursue its goal of developing decarbonised river logistics. In this connection, HAROPA PORT has selected ULS following a call for project proposals. This company is to develop a shared solution for river/cycle urban logistics in Paris and Rouen.

HAROPA PORT is continuing to invest in 2024, with an initial budget of €201m, for a stronger decarbonised industrial ecosystem, while at the same time supporting the structural organisation of the Seine Axis multimodal logistics corridor.

Four major projects are directed at strengthening HAROPA PORT’s multimodal service offering: Start of the “cat flap” river access construction works
The preparatory work to improve river access to Port 2000, known locally as the “cat flap” channel, begin at the start of this year. The creation of this 2km embankment is aimed at developing container traffic based on protected river access between the “legacy” port of Le Havre and Port 2000. The channel is scheduled to come into service in 2026. The project will help enhance HAROPA PORT’s competitiveness, based on an efficient, reliable and competitive river service offering. It will reduce the environmental impact of port activities while also fostering modal shift. The future embankment will be a source of value-added and jobs for the areas concerned.

Located on the Achères plain, PSMO is a multimodal platform project destined to host construction industry activities. This major programme addresses the strategic goal of rebalancing port facilities to the west of Paris and supporting the economic development of the Greater Paris region and the Yvelines département. The budgeted investment is €122m.

Work to reconfigure the road and rail infrastructure serving Port 2000 vessel berths 11 and 12 will begin this year. This is the core infrastructure to allow development of the rail mode for container traffic and reorganisation of the service connections linking Port 2000’s terminals. This project stands alongside the 1bn investment underwritten by TiL-MSC to meet its target of a threefold increase in its traffic to 4.5 million TEU.

This €24m operation is part of the overall development of Eco-Zip in Petit-Couronne to the south of Rouen. This construction programme will help develop the activities of firms based at the site. It involves the consolidation of the dock’s central section. It will also add a wharf. This will make it possible to accommodate vessels up to 230m in length.

The 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will allow passenger traffic decarbonisation to proceed more swiftly: Sea cruise activity continued on its positive trajectory. In total, 459,373 passengers were processed through HAROPA PORT, a figure up by 53%, representing 182 cruise ships compared with 171 in 2022, an increase of 6.4%. This growth is likely to continue into 2024 thanks to the creation of the “Le HAVRE Croisières” public interest grouping (GIP). This will drive the coastal development programme and the construction of three new terminals to improve reception conditions for cruise passengers. Once again with a view to port decarbonisation, HAROPA PORT has begun is work on providing electrical supply connections for ships at berth in the port of Le Havre. All docks used by cruise ships will have power connection points to promote “zero emissions” port calls by 2026, beginning with Pierre Callet dock, where it will be operational as early as 2025.

Paris consolidated its position as global leader in river tourism, registering over 9.5 million passengers in 20231, representing growth of 35% and outperforming the pre-Covid level.

The Paris barge fleet is continuing to modernise in order to reduce its carbon footprint. Before the organisation of the Olympics, the entire fleet was powered by internal combustion engines. Thanks to the Olympics, its energy transition is henceforth under way. The main barge owners are operating their first electric craft this year. The goal is to electrify the entire sector by 2037 in line with the Paris Climate Accords. Alongside this, HAROPA PORT is continuing to pursue its policy of greening the Seine Axis port with a programme of installation of electricity connectionpoints.

In 2024, the Seine and its ports will be hosting the Olympics and in this Olympic year, the goals and issues surrounding the ecological and energy transition will be more than ever central to its programmes, making HAROPA PORT France’s leading port for decarbonisation.