Viking Line vessels switch to green shore power to cut GHG footprint
Finnish shipping company Viking Line has switched to using only green electricity from renewable energy sources in an effort to reduce up to 780 tons of its annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Starting in 2030, it will be a legal requirement for vessels to use a land-based power supply when they are in port.
As early as the 1980s, Viking Line connected its vessels for the first time to a land-based power supply in the Stockholm city harbor of Stadsgårdshamnen. Since then, links to a land-based power supply have been built in the ports of Mariehamn, Helsinki and Tallinn.
In all of these ports, Viking Line now uses green electricity produced from renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar energy or biogas.
“Annual carbon dioxide emissions from our vessels are up to 780 tonnes less compared to if the vessels produced electricity using their own engines when in port. Thanks to the land-based power supply, vessel emissions of particulate matter are also reduced significantly, and no noise in the area is produced from their engines,” Dani Lindberg, Sustainability Manager at Viking Line, said.
Viking Line’s vessels use a land-based power supply on every route except for the Turku route, since the harbor times in Turku, Mariehamn and Stockholm are so short that there is not enough time to connect the vessel to a land-based power supply.
As explained, establishing a land-based power supply is a concerted effort involving shipping companies and ports since it requires substantial investments from both sides. Over the years, Viking Line has installed facilities to connect to the onshore power supply on all of its vessels that sail from Helsinki to Stockholm or Tallinn, most recently on Viking XPRS in 2021.
“It is gratifying that the ports provide a land-based power supply since the law does not require vessels to use an onshore power supply until 2030. After that time, all vessels in port for more than two hours will have to use a land-based power supply instead of fuel, and the ports will have to make certain that the necessary infrastructure for using such power is in place,” Lindberg added.
Large passenger vessels use a great deal of electricity, and an average of 25 percent of fuel consumed is for producing electricity. Viking Line is therefore investing to reduce electricity consumption on its vessels as part of its drive to systematically reduce total emissions from its vessel fleet.
“Thanks to technological innovations, the energy efficiency of our newest vessels is already top-class based on global measurements. For example, Viking Glory has an energy recovery system that converts waste heat from its engines into electricity and uses waste cooling from LNG fuel to cool cooling facilities and cooling spaces. We improve the energy efficiency of all of our vessels over the course of their life cycle by updating and renewing technological solutions, including ventilation systems, in conjunction with routine dry-dockings,” Lindberg concluded.