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Reinforcement and extension of the windward breakwater – Deployment of wave energy at the port of Heraklion


The Heraklion Port Authority S.A. (HPA) held on the 25th January 2023 a Conference at the Technical Chamber of Greece, Department of East Crete, in Heraklion, where the project “Upgrading and expansion of the existing jetty and installation of a wave energy production system at the Port of Heraklion – HUPPINES” was presented.

HPA is dedicated to transforming the Port of Heraklion into a green and smart port with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental protection, management, and promotion of sustainable development, are top priorities for HPA, which seeks to develop maritime infrastructure through innovative technologies, and the promotion of alternative fuels and energy-efficient maritime transport. HPA, as the project coordinator, along with Rogan Associates S.A. as beneficiary, submitted a proposal for financing a Project of Common Interest under the CEF II Mechanism, which was approved under the acronym HUPPINES.

During the opening of the conference, HPA’s President, Mr. Ioannis Vardavas, gave a brief address. Then, the CEO of HPA, Mr. Minas Papadakis, welcomed the General Secretary of Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Mr. Manolis Koutoulakis, who joined the event through video call. Mr. Papadakis emphasized that the port of Heraklion focuses on sustainable development by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and air pollutants. Furthermore, Mr. Papadakis also stressed the success of the recent “ElectriPort” project presentation in Athens, which aims to study and design the infrastructure required for the electrical supply of ships within the port, from the onshore power grid (“cold ironing”).

In addition, Mr. Papadakis expressed his gratitude to the General Secretary, Mr. Koutoulakis, for his ongoing support to HPA. He then welcomed the panel speakers, local government representatives and all attendees, highlighting the historical and strategic importance of the port since the Arabic era, its evolution during the Venetian rule as a hub for the Venetian trade, and its current status as the primary energy hub and the most important cruise port in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The conference focused on the HUPPINES project which aims to prepare studies for upgrading the port infrastructure of Heraklion Port, specifically the upgrade and extension of the existing windward breakwater, which was lastly modified during the 1960’s and has a total length of 2,390 m. Moreover, HUPPINES includes studies for the installation of a wave energy generation system at the port of Heraklion, emphasizing the importance of renewable energy in the port’s development.

More specifically, the project includes the immediate rehabilitation of the existing damages  of the windward breakwater with tetrapod concrete blocks, for a total length of approximately 1,000 m, the construction of new armouring of the windward breakwater with acropode concrete blocks, for a total length of approximately 1,000 m and the extension of the windward breakwater for approximately 280 m, in order to improve the port’s safety conditions and safe navigation of vessels in the port basin.

The project also addresses studies for the installation of a wave energy station on the armouring of the windward breakwater, essentially developing a clean electricity source for the Port of Heraklion. The studies will include the design of the mechanical, electrical and hydraulic subsystems, as well as the development of an innovative civil design for the installation of the mechanical subsystem on the armouring of the breakwater. The electricity generated by the wave energy conversion will be used to meet the increased energy needs of the port resulting from the installation of the Shore Side Electricity system (the design phase of Electriport project will be completed next March).

The importance of reinforcing the armouring of the windward breakwater from the incoming waves and its extension, was highlighted by the speaker Dr. Christos Solomonidis, Chairman of the BoD of Rogan Associates S.A. The alternative fuels in the shipping industry that will constitute the green transition was mentioned by Mr. Dimitrios Lyridis, Associate Professor at National Technical University of Athens, whereas Mrs Inna Braverman, CEO of Eco Wave Power, spoke about the importance of the wave energy generation system in ports.

The moderators of the Workshop were the journalists Kostas Siligardos and Nikos Papadakis, whom HPA would like to thank.