Helsinki launches shore power connection in Vuosaari Harbour

The first onshore power supply connection in Vuosaari Harbour, a seaport facility in Helsinki, has been taken into use.

The system is used by vessels operated by Finnish shipping company Finnlines — M/S Finnmaid, Finnstar and Finnlady serving the route between Helsinki and Travemünde in Germany.

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The onshore power supply system was completed at Vuosaari Harbour in late 2023, and a similar system was completed at Travemünde Harbour at the beginning of 2024.

At the same time, technology allowing the reception of onshore power was also built on Finnlines’ vessels. M/S Finnmaid was the first ship to introduce the new system.

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“For years, Finnlines has invested systematically in improving the energy efficiency of its fleet. We will continue this development work in addition to our daily efforts. Onshore power supply is one important technical solution to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from ships. The Finnlines RoPax vessels Finnmaid, Finnstar and Finnlady operating between Helsinki and Travemünde can now use onshore power supply in both ports of call. In addition to emissions, the system also reduces harmful noise. This is an important environmental investment from both the Port of Helsinki and Finnlines,” COO Thomas Doepel, Vice President of Finnlines, commented.

Under EU legislation, by 2030 nearly all passenger and container ships will be required to receive onshore power in maritime ports that receive at least 50 large passenger vessel port calls per year or at least 100 container ship port calls per year.

”We wanted to make great strides in these investments that are crucial to the environment,” Vesa Marttinen, VP of the cargo traffic business at Port of Helsinki, said.

”We built the first onshore power supply connections in ports in central Helsinki, where the reduction in air pollution will yield the most significant benefits due to housing near the ports. The first onshore power supply system in Katajanokka was completed in 2012, and we are now able to provide electricity generated on shore in Vuosaari as well,” Marttinen added.

In practice, the onshore power supply system is tailored to suit each type of vessel. The system on quay C in Vuosaari includes a 4 MW transformer and two remote-controlled cable cranes. Electric Power Finland was responsible for the system design and electrical installations, whereas the foundations and cable installations were carried out by the port.

Next, preparations for RoRo and LoLo transport onshore power supply projects designed to meet cargo transport needs will begin in Vuosaari Harbour. These onshore power supply systems are expected to be completed in 2026.

The Port of Helsinki and the Port of Lübeck received support from the European Union for the construction of the onshore power supply system, which contributes to efficient mobility and transport of goods in Europe. The EU provides funding for projects focusing on environmental investments and the reduction of emissions.

Onshore power supply refers to a system that produces shore-based electricity for a vessel in a port. This way, the vessel does not need to keep its auxiliary engines running to generate electricity. The use of onshore power can reduce the ship’s climate emissions in the harbour area to a significant degree, by up to 50–80%.