shore power

UK’s Port of Southampton opens its first shore power facility

Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Southampton has commissioned its first shore power facility for cruise ships.

shore power
Courtesy of ABP

Shore power-enabled ships can now plug in at the port’s Horizon Cruise Terminal and Mayflower Cruise Terminal, for zero emissions at berth.

AIDA Cruises’ brand-new AIDAcosma and Cunard’s iconic Queen Mary 2 can now use the port’s shore power. Further cruise ships are scheduled for commissioning this month and throughout the year.

The total shore power project cost was £9 million ($11.8 million), supported by a grant from the Solent Local Growth Deal, arranged through the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

ABP Southampton announced in 2019 that it was investing in onshore power for its new Horizon Cruise Terminal, subsequently announcing a second shore power connection, for Mayflower Cruise Terminal, in 2021.

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ABP worked with Powercon as the main contractor to implement the scheme on site.

“We are delighted to have reached this exciting milestone and we are looking forward to working with multiple cruise lines this year as they plug in for zero emissions at berth and make tangible progress towards their own decarbonisation goals,” Rebekah Keeler, ABP’s Head of Cruise, commented.

The UK Government recently announced the launch of its UK SHORE unit to encourage and help facilitate sustainable shipping.

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“Yet another significant milestone in the journey to decarbonising the maritime sector. As we work towards building a green maritime legacy, it’s amazing to see ports such as ABP’s Port of Southampton leading by example to utilise clean maritime technologies for a greener port and better air quality. They’ve done a brilliant job with their shore power facility for cruise ships,” Robert Courts MP, Maritime Minister, said.

“It’s fantastic to see the results of our contribution to this project – the first major commercial berth and cruise port to use plug in technology in the UK, resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions while improving local air quality,” Rachael Randall, Solent LEP Chair, noted.

In related news, Dutch offshore contractor Heerema Marine Contractors recently connected its two giant heavy-lift vessels to, what the company described as, the largest shore power installation in Europe, located in Rotterdam.

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Heerema Marine Contractors’ largest crane vessels, Sleipnir and Thialf, have officially switched from using their engines to using shore power.

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