ABB heads project for largest shore-to-ship power solution in France

Swiss technology company ABB has been selected to lead a consortium providing shore-to-ship power connection for ferries and cruise ships in the Port of Toulon, which is said to be the first Mediterranean port to supply power to all of its docks.

Port of Toulon/ABB

It is estimated that the port handles over 1.6 million ferry and cruise passengers annually with around 1,300 yearly calls from the vessels.

The port is also central to the “Zero-smoke stopovers” plan by the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Région Sud PACA), which aims to electrify the docks of Toulon, Marseille and Nice to enable emission-free stays for vessels.

Now, as part of the port’s key stage in its sustainability drive, ABB is leading the consortium selected to manage and execute the turnkey project for shore-to-ship power connections, enabling ships to turn off diesel generators during port calls.

Under the project, ABB will provide a solution that will be capable of delivering enough energy to cover the needs of three ferries calling to port simultaneously, or one cruise ship.

Vessels will have the possibility of 50 or 60Hz power connections. As part of the consortium, Eiffage Construction will carry out the civil engineering work, and Fauché will be responsible for installing and connecting the equipment.

Through the design established by the Toulon Provence Méditerranée Metropolis, the system implemented with ABB equipment will have the ability to automatically adjust the energy mix to supply vessels through the local power network, with solar energy produced from a photovoltaic shelter, as well as an energy storage system made up of lithium batteries.

The system will help to smooth consumption peaks while allowing the storage of excess solar energy production. It will also be able to use other renewable energy sources such as fuel cells, as they become available.

According to Hubert Falco, president of the Toulon Provence Méditerranée Metropolis, Toulon is the first Mediterranean port to supply power to all of its docks.

“The shore-to-ship power connection will eliminate more than 80% of pollutant emissions. It will also save 9,000 hours of vessels running on diesel annually. For the ferry activity in the city of Toulon alone, this adds up to a reduction in sulfur emissions equivalent to those of 50,000 cars in a year”, Falco explained.

“Technically, this project is developing a new, intelligent smart grid power network using digital technology to manage energy flows from several interconnected sources. The infrastructure makes it possible to optimise overall energy efficiency while limiting the carbon footprint”, said Frédéric Mestivier, designer and technical director of the power project for the Toulon Provence Méditerranée Metropolis.

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