COSCO’s boxship first to plug into shore power at HHLA CTT

The shore power system at HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) in Hamburg, Germany was officially inaugurated with the successful supply of shore power to COSCO Shipping Taurus during a ship integration test this week, marking a significant milestone in its practical application.

Image credit: COSCO Shipping

COSCO Shipping said that the 20,000 TEU-class boxship COSCO Shipping Taurus, like the majority of its recently built vessels, is equipped with integrated technical components for shore power supply.

Shore power, often referred to as cold ironing or alternative maritime power (AMP), involves the supply of electrical energy to ships when they are moored at a port, eliminating the need for them to rely on their onboard engines or generators.

Typically, this power is sourced from the local electrical grid or renewable energy sources. The technology aims to reduce the environmental impact of vessels while they are docked at ports, including GHG emissions, noise pollution, and fuel consumption, contributing to cleaner and more sustainable port operations.

“For 40 years, the shipping company COSCO Shipping has been linked to the Tollerort terminal through a successful business relationship,” said Mingfeng Wang, President COSCO Shipping (Europe) GmbH.

“With our recent vessels, which are all already equipped with the integrated technical components for shore power supply, and shore power finally becoming available at CTT, COSCO Shipping and HHLA are on our way to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality, to fulfil the new requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s MARPOL Convention relating to the “International Shipping Regulations on Carbon Intensity”, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vessels at berth, build a green and low-carbon supply chain, and protect the earth’s ecological environment.”

Like her sister ships, COSCO Shipping Taurus features the electrotechnical components and cables to take in the electricity supplied from shore. As the grid voltage and frequency on land are different from the onboard voltage and frequency, these are adapted to the ship’s needs on land by means of converters and transformers. This ensures compatibility between the system and the ship, COSCO Shipping said.

“Shore-side power stations at HHLA’s terminals in Hamburg are an important contribution towards the decarbonization of the port and the logistics chain,” Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board.

“We are pleased that the shore-side power stations at our terminals have been established, making it possible to reliably supply shore-side electricity to our customers’ ships equipped for that technology. This makes the Port of Hamburg a pioneer within Europe.”

The shore power facility at the CTT is located at the mega-ship berth where the world’s largest container ships can be handled. Special cables are located at the quay edge to connect the container ship to the shore power system.

The system and process for Hamburg have now been tested by the project partners HPA, Siemens, COSCO Shipping, and HHLA.

The European Union’s recently adopted Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) sets a pivotal requirement for maritime ports within the EU, mandating them to offer shore-side electricity for vessels by the year 2030. The mandate will apply to container ships, cruise ships, passenger ships and combined passenger and cargo ships from 5000 GT.