Shorepower An Ongoing Debate

Connecting to Shorepower in Hamburg

Norway’s Kristiansand was the second European port to offer shorepower to cruise ships when its 16 MW installation came online in September. The only other European port offering shorepower is Hamburg, at its Altona Terminal, while Livorno expects to be operational by the end of the year.

A spokesperson for the Port of Hamburg said that preparations were underway for a feasibility study to install shorepower at all of its the cruise terminals.

In addition, Warnemunde-Rostock and Kiel have announced plans for shorepower installations for cruise ships.

Meanwhile, AIDA Cruises also has a hybrid solution, with the AIDAperla and AIDAprima running on LNG supplied by a truck while in port in Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Southampton and Zeebrugge, as well as in Barcelona for the AIDAprima, and in Madeira during the winter. According to AIDA, Marseille, Civitavecchia and Kiel are also preparing to supply LNG for the dual fuel ships, while the line is in the discussion stage with Palma de Mallorca.

The only other shorepower installations for cruise ships are in the United States and Canada – on the West Coast in Juneau, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver and on the East Coast in Montreal, Halifax and New York’s Brooklyn terminal.

Additional shorepower facilities in North America and Europe are dedicated to ferries, container ships, tugboats, fishing vessels and offshore vessels and rigs.

Cruise ports in Europe have so far been reluctant to install shorepower due to the high investment cost combined with relatively low usage in addition to many ships not having the equipment to connect.

Enova, a Norwegian government agency providing public funding for cold-ironing installations, claims that funding shorepower for cruise ships is too costly, considering the power requirement and the limited seasonal use. It has instead thrown the challenge back to the cruise industry, with Enova’s CEO stating that it is the cruise lines’ responsibility to clean up their own business.

The investment for supplying 1 to 2 MW of power is relatively low compared to a system for a cruise ship. The 16 MW Kristiansand installation was made possible by a 4 million euro EU grant.

Meanwhile, some cruise ports are facing negative public reaction on heavy traffic days due to the visible exhaust that can literally “cover” a port, a town or a fjord.

Kjetil Paulsen, a senior adviser on shipping at the Bellona Foundation, an environmental organization based in Norway, and working with Carnival Corporation,  added that it is in the interest of the industry and the ports to reduce emissions. What tourist would pay to visit destinations covered by clouds of exhaust, he asked.

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