Southampton Port ‘on course’ for shore power

Port of Southampton Photo credit Dave Jones

Southampton remains “on course” to be the first port in the UK to introduce shore power for cruise ships.

Shore power, which is also called cold ironing, reduces the time ships are required to run their engines in port, reducing pollution.

Associated British Ports (ABP) said it would meet its previous pledge to install the technology in Southampton in 2020.

Shipping is forecast to emit between 2% and 6% of nitrogen dioxide emissions in Southampton, ABP’s Port Air Quality Strategy said in 2018.

A report to Southampton councillors in January 2019 said shore power could deliver “public health benefits” and the council applied for a £7 million government grant for the project, that was later rejected due to concerns over insufficient benefits and the speed of delivery

However, prime minister Boris Johnson said he was “very interested” in the proposals in the lead up to the recent General Election.

ABP said its shore power pledge remained “on course” although issues remained over funding and a large amount of power needed for large cruise ships.

Port director Alastair Welch said: “What we don’t want to do is to plug a ship in and brownout the city.”

Cold ironing is already available for cruise ships in the United States, Canada and some European ports.

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.

Carnival strikes deal with EPA on emissions

Carnival strikes deal with EPA on emissions

By Tom Stieghorst
Carnival Corp. has reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to avoid using costly low sulfur fuels on 32 of its 102 ships.

The fuels are the main way the cruise industry is expected to meet stricter air pollution rules of the North American Emissions Control Area that take effect in 2015.

Under the agreement, Carnival will install exhaust scrubbers on the ships during a trial period, an alternate way to curb emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and particulates.

Carnival said it will spend $180 million to buy and install the equipment for some ships sailing for Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line. Which ships will get the technology has not been announced. Carnival has been testing a scrubber on Cunard’s Queen Victoria ship.

In addition to the EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada support for the program, Carnival said. Armed with those key endorsements, it will now ask flag states that oversee various ships to allow the trial to proceed.

As part of the agreement, Carnival committed its ships to use shore power or less polluting marine gas oil for fuel while docked in U.S. ports.

Previously, the EPA had rejected a cruise industry proposal that would have let some ships burn high sulfur fuel as long as average emissions were lowered in a geographic area to meet the standard.

An agreement on the Emissions Control Area (ECA) is critical to cruise markets like Alaska, where cruises operate almost entirely within the 200 mile ECA zone, and costs for low-sulfur diesel can be double the charges for traditional fuel.