ABS comes on board BlueBARGE project

Classification society ABS has joined the BlueBARGE Project, a program funded by the Horizon Europe that involves fourteen partners from ten European countries to develop a comprehensive solution for offshore electrical power bunkering.

Courtesy of ABS

As informed, ABS is leading the 36-month, €11.3 million project and will support the consortium in safety, classification and regulatory compliance.

To limit local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, BlueBARGE is developing and testing a new way for ships docked in port to plug into electrical power known as cold ironing.

The proposed power-barge solution will consider different alternatives as containerized power supply modules in a variety of configurations, where battery modules will serve as the basis due to their high energy efficiency and readiness level, and other considered modules including hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen generators.

The BlueBARGE model will look at an offshore supply of electrical power to moored and anchored vessels. It will address challenges related to electrical integration, platform interfacing with ships, ports, and local networks, as well as operational safety and regulatory compliance aspects.

“ABS is supporting cutting-edge electrification projects around the world for shipowners, shipyards and other stakeholders. We are well-positioned to use our deep industry knowledge to advance electrification and power connection technologies and to understand the risks as vessels and infrastructure become increasingly electrified and connected,” Konstantinos Voutzoulidis, ABS Business Development Manager and Head of Europe for Contracted Research and Development, commented.

“ABS is excited to collaborate with such a great consortium in supporting the maritime industry to achieve the European Union and International electrification and decarbonization goals.”

ABS said it understands that additional alternative energy options, particularly electrification, are needed to help the shipping industry achieve net zero by 2050.

In related news, a recent study estimated that the European Union needs to triple or quadruple its installed shore power by 2030 to meet the current ambitions of the FuelEU Maritime regulation and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).

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Specifically, the study identified 51 ports across 15 EU coastal Member States equipped with 309 MW of shore power, primarily in passenger and cruise terminals but the current capacity falls short of energy demand, requiring additional power installations.