Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Onshore Power Takes Off to Cut Vessel Emissions in Port

Inauguration of Largest Power Bank in Baltic Sea Region
Shipping News Feature

SWEDEN – The world has seen a flurry of activity in ports around the globe to install up to date onshore power to minimise emissions from vessels calling to load, unload and use the facilities.

The Ports of Stockholm management has worked since the 1980s to provide onshore power supply. Whenever refurbishment of the ports and quays, or when new construction work is carried out, the strategy is to install facilities to enable vessels at the quayside to connect to onshore power. As vessel sizes and power demands increase, onshore power supply has become a more complex and important issue.

This week saw the inauguration of the new onshore power facilities at the Värtahamnen Port, the most modern, and in wattage-terms the largest, in the Baltic Sea area. Together with Finnish cruise line Tallink Silja, Ports of Stockholm has invested in a range of sustainable solutions at the Värta terminal to enable more eco-friendly services, and now it is possible for vessels to connect to onshore power at every quay-berth.

A total of SEK 47 million has been invested at the Värtahamnen Port and the power facilities have been built according to international common standards and are also high voltage. The facilities are the most modern, and when it comes to wattage, the largest, in the Baltic Sea area. The new pier and terminal at the Värtahamnen Port opened three years ago. Joakim Larsson, Vice Mayor for City Planning, commented:

“The Värtahamnen Port is one of Stockholm’s gateways to the surrounding world, and we need to create a welcoming district where the growth of the city and the port are integrally linked. I am delighted that vessels can now connect to shore power at the Värtahamnen Port. This provides the prerequisites for greener shipping and a more attractive port, free from unnecessary emissions.”

For many years Ports of Stockholm has offered environmental rebates to encourage customers to implement environmentally beneficial measures. The environmental rebates focus on reduced emission of air pollutants and provide rewards for vessels that have better environmental performance. In addition, a grant of SEK 1 million per vessel is offered to shipping companies that choose to invest in converting their vessels for onshore power connection.

Onshore power supply at the quayside reduces the impact of the vessel on the surrounding environment by enabling the auxiliary engines to be shut down. This reduces both noise and air pollutant emissions and the latest moves are part of the Ports overall environmental strategy. Marcus Risberg, Chief Executive Officer, Tallink Silja Sweden:

“It is really pleasing that Tallink Silja can now directly connect to shore power, from the quayside to the vessel, at the Värtahamnen Port. We believe that taking away the need to run the engines when in port to supply power to the vessel is a major step towards improved sustainability and well-being. The shore power connections not only allow us to reduce emissions and noise levels when in port, but also mean a much better working environment in the engine room, where it is now completely silent during the day.”

This year's new power connections at the Värtahamnen Port reached the final of the 2019 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Award as one of the most pioneering and inclusive climate action projects around the globe. Thomas Andersson, Ports of Stockholm Managing Director, enthused:

“Ports of Stockholm’s operating policy, based on the greatest potential benefit, is to develop the power connection facilities at our ports. We are continuing with this plan, but have already come far with our onshore power supply at the Värtahamnen Port.

“The results at the Värtahamnen Port are a positive step in the right direction. Ports of Stockholm is continuing this prioritised work according to our established operating policy to develop onshore power supply at our ports.”

Photo: Värtahamnen Port also holds over 600 of the installed solar panels in the Ports of Stockholm which has in excess of 2,000 in total producing over half a million kW/year.