German ports to install shore power supply

Credit: HHLA/ Thies Rätzke

Hamburg’s state government has approved a large-scale expansion of shore-based power supply in the Port of Hamburg. This will create the conditions for a shift from shipboard diesel power supply to ecological electric power during lay times.

From 2022 the Port of Hamburg will be the first port in Europe to offer shore-based power supply for cruise liners and mega container ships. There will be eight connection points available for container ships located at Burchardkai, Europakai, and Predöhlkai.

Use of shore-based power will make a significant contribution towards attainment of climate targets in the shipping sector. The investment totals about EUR76 million (USD84 million). Completion of the shore-based power units is planned for 2022, with regular operation from 2023.

In addition, availability of shore-based power will be extended to all existing cruise terminals. A shore-based power supply point will be constructed at HafenCity – CC1 and Steinwerder – CC3. The first such unit for cruise ships in Europe has been located at Altona Cruise Terminal since 2016.

All shore-based supply units will be connected to the power grid to supply vessels with a regenerative current that will be converted at a central facility to normal shipboard 6.6 kV voltage and 60 Hz frequency and fed to the connection points from there.

Federal initiative

In addition, the German government has launched measures to promote shore-generated power. Along with the premiers of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg and representatives of the state governments of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, and Bremen, that was confirmed by German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier. Meeting in Kiel, they signed an agreement listing the conditions for use of shore-generated power to provide cleaner air in German port cities.

Premier Daniel Günther of Schleswig-Holstein said, “The paper includes the reduction of the EU levy to 20% favoured by Schleswig-Holstein. By mid-2020, we should have initiated the essential legal steps. I am expecting rapid implementation of what we have agreed.”

Apart from the levy reduction, the package of measures includes special network charges for cruise liners, ferries, and container ships. At the same time, a programme of subsidies totalling EUR140 million will be in place from 2020 to assist states and ports in expanding essential port infrastructure.

Apart from Hamburg, the sea ports of Kiel and Rostock are planning far-reaching expansions. A shore power supply unit for ferry services entered service in Kiel in May. The measures announced should enable such units to be operated on a commercial basis.