Photo: Illustration; Courtesy of Port of Galveston

Shell, partners team up on shore power project at Galveston Port

The Galveston Wharves, together with Carnival Corporation, CenterPoint Energy, Royal Caribbean Group, Shell Trading (US) Company and Texas A&M University at Galveston, will work toward potential solutions to develop environmentally beneficial shore power at the Port of Galveston.

The partners, who signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), will develop a project timeline and specifications, as well as cost estimates and proposed agreements, for a system to deliver shore power to vessels docked at the port. 

Shore power allows vessels to plug into an onshore electrical source for onboard power instead of using auxiliary diesel-powered engines, which produce emissions.

“As a Green Marine-certified port, we recognize shore power as an opportunity to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases associated with maritime activities,” Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Group is outfitting its new Galveston cruise terminal for when shore power becomes available for the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas. The ship will homeport at the new cruise terminal, dubbed the world’s first zero-energy cruise terminal. The terminal is scheduled for opening on 9 November.

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Carnival Cruise Line, another major cruise line that calls Galveston home, has also pledged that any of its ships regularly assigned to the homeport at Galveston will be capable of connecting to shore power once it is made available.

The new ship Carnival Jubilee, scheduled to homeport in Galveston in 2023, will be equipped with shore power capabilities. The ship will run on clean-burning liquified natural gas (LNG), making it the first cruise ship homeporting at Galveston to have this energy technology.

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“We are fully committed to a successful shore power program, as it is in line with our top priorities of compliance and environmental protection,” Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line stated.

Glenn Wright, senior vice president of Renewables & Energy Solutions, Shell Energy, added: “The world is working toward a more sustainable energy future in many areas, and Shell is proud to be a leader in delivering integrated decarbonization solutions to help achieve those objectives. Integrating shore power into port infrastructure is a perfect example of this, and we’re excited to work with such a diverse and dedicated group to support the Galveston Wharves as it builds upon its existing sustainability program.”

The Port of Galveston had almost 1,000 ship calls in 2021. Through Green Marine, a voluntary environmental program for North America’s maritime industry, the port is researching and implementing new programs like shore power for lasting environmental benefits.