The German Ports Reception took place in Berlin on June 4. More than 170 attendees heard from five German coastal states and multiple legislators. The core message: without functioning ports, there can be no energy transition and without joint financing, there can be no port expansion.

Without functioning ports, there can be no energy transition

Source: Seaports of Lower Saxony GmbH

From left to right: Minister Claus Ruhe Madsen (Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Labor, Technology and Tourism), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Jürgens (Vice President of the ZDS), Minister Olaf Lies (Lower Saxony Ministry for Economic Affairs, Transport, Building and Digitalization), Senator Kristina Vogt (Senator for Science and Ports of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen), State Councilor Andreas Rieckhof (Authority for Economy and Innovation of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen). Hanseatic City of Hamburg), Axel Mattern (Board of Port of Hamburg Marketing e.V.), Andreas Bullwinkel (Managing Director Seaports of Lower Saxony)

“Our ports and the coast as a whole are becoming the guarantors of an independent, diversified and equally clean and permanently affordable energy supply for the whole of Germany,” said Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony’s minister of economic affairs. “The strategic expansion of our ports is becoming more and more a question of security and independence and thus a national task.” 

He said that recent investments show that states are able to plan and approve the necessary infrastructure quickly and deliver it on time. “However, as states we cannot manage this financially on our own in the long term. So we need solutions here together with the federal government. We have shown in Wilhelmshaven, in Stade and most recently in Cuxhaven that we are able to find them together,” he added. 

In a panel discussion, political representatives of the five coastal states agreed that the energy transition can only succeed with functioning ports. This is because climate-friendly energy resources will need to be imported on a significant scale in order to supply German industry.