Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR)
The information provided on this page is based on the European Commission Proposal dated July 2021. Key elements are subject to change before the definitive measures are adopted.
The EU’s Fit for 55 proposal is its most ambitious proposed legislation towards establishing a greener, low carbon economy.
The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) is being revised as part of the Fit for 55 proposed measures and revamped as a regulation (AFIR) to ensure that:
The AFIR revision will work hand in hand with the FuelEU Maritime legislation and the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). These three measures are essential to trigger the development of policies for the rollout of alternative fuels infrastructure in EU member states.
In addition to technical specifications for OPS, AFIR will include specifications for hydrogen, methanol, ammonia and LNG bunkering.
The TEN-T is part of the EU’s larger Trans-European Networks infrastructure plan. While other Networks target telecommunications and energy systems, TEN-T plans to implement the infrastructure for a transportation network including, road, rail, air and waterways.
To provide integrated long-distance, high-speed transportation, TEN-T aims to improve:
AFIR will ensure the proper provisions for RLF coverage in the TEN-T network.
In 2016, AFID mandated that member states must adopt and submit NPFs to the EU Commission, including national targets for deploying RLF infrastructure. While that version of AFID contained provisions for maritime and inland LNG infrastructure, the requirements for hydrogen were left at the discretion of member states.
Once AFIR is adopted, member states will have to update their NPFs and resubmit them by January 2025.
Ports, both maritime and inland, will need to invest in OPS infrastructure, requiring increased support from public authorities. They will also need to plan a long-term fuel-mix strategy to ensure they plan to integrate the relevant technology.
Ship operators will be indirect beneficiaries of AFIR, as the policy will help them to fulfil the requirements of FuelEU Maritime. Both the provision of OPS and of the infrastructure needed to use RLFs will help them in this respect.
At EU Parliament, there are still several areas of ongoing discussion:
The EU Council has adopted AFIR’s General Approach.
The development of AFIR will give a significantly clearer picture of the availability of alternative maritime fuels. This may be worth considering for ship owners and operators when deciding their future fuel mix. Like all of Fit for 55, the final form of the AFIR update has yet to be decided, though it will become clearer in the months ahead.
Bureau Veritas will monitor the evolution of all Fit for 55 proposals as they are adopted. We will continue to provide advice as needed to ship owners and operators in EU waters to help them to prepare their fleets. To stay up to date with the latest developments on AFIR and other Fit for 55 measures, subscribe to our newsletter.