Port of Québec looking into shore power potential for cruise ships

The Port of Québec has decided to conduct a feasibility study on providing shore power supply for cruise ships.

The announcement was made at the International Cruise Forum in Québec City. The study will evaluate project costs, technical feasibility, and its impact on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Talks are underway with suppliers and Hydro-Québec to determine the energy needs such a project would require.

Currently, only 2% of all ports around the world, fewer than 30 in all, are equipped to provide electricity to docked ships.

By greenlighting such a project, the Port of Québec would have a significant contribution to the industry’s decarbonization.

In June this year, the Port of Québec decided to use a greenhouse gas (GHG) rating tool from maritime risk management agency RightShip to assess the emissions of ships entering its waters and offer discounts on port fees to vessels, dependent on their GHG rating and emission efficiency.

The tool provides a transparent method to assess the relative efficiency of vessels and compare a ship’s CO2 emissions relative to peer vessels of a similar size and type, using an A-G scale.

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The other ports in the Canada-New England route are also considering the initiative, which would make the cruise circuit among the greenest in the world, according to the port.

“In the wake of the recent pandemic, many cruise lines proceeded with the large-scale electrification of their ships, which changed everything in just a couple of years. This has led us to seriously consider electrifying our wharves in the short term,” said Mario Girard.

He noted that the Cruise Lines International Association has committed to all ships docking at an electrified dock be equipped to use it by 2035. 

The Port of Québec also presented its projections for the next international cruise season. It expects about 116 ship stopovers in Québec City in 2023, carrying a total of 168,000 passengers.