OPS SEA CRUISE EUROPE: SUSTAINABLE ON SHORE POWER SUPPLY FOR SEA CRUISE SHIPS
Shipping and port companies require to invest in new technology to reduce pollution and to be compliant with strict regulations which force vessels that are moored in port to improve the air quality in ports and reduce the consumption of costly and polluting marine gas oil.
Large container vessels, ferries and cruise ships require vast quantities of electric power to support heating, air conditioning and necessary auxiliary ship systems. Several solutions are available but shore connection technology is the only one that can cut all emissions from ships at berth.
Ship to Shore Connection
Despite the economic and political challenges being faced by Europe the sea cruise sector is growing. During the past years Western Europe cities have seen an increase in the number of cruise ships. The sector is of great importance to the economic development of these cities despite the environmental impact it has.
With these impacts in mind the cruise industry is vigorously investing in reducing the impacts by realizing ‘Green Cruising’. A lot resources are being used by the cruise ships to come up with technology which protects the air and water quality while improving energy efficiency.
The environmental impacts should not only be minimized during sailing but also during mooring in the city ports. Once the ship is moored one engine is kept running to power the on board facilities. This will result to emissions of harmful substances such as PM10, PM 2,5, NOx, CO2 and SO2. Moreover, the engines, fans and air-conditioning systems produce noise which affects surrounding population.
Currently the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is developing new regulations to realize cleaner and quieter cruise ships.
This is realized by using low Sulphur fuels and setting strict requirements for emissions of engines. 2016 will be the start of this phased introduction with the measures taking effects in 2020. However due to the average life span of a cruise (which is up to 25 years) it will take up to 20 years to realize the desired results.
Temporary measures are urgently needed to improve the current undesirable situation in the short run.
On shore power supply has proven to be an attractive sustainable option for inland waterway in transport and river cruise in Amsterdam.
The option is not yet available for sea cruise in Europe due to the high demand of energy for these ships (app. 10-20 MW compared to 1-8 MW for other vessels)
Some of the options that are considered promising for the realization of the on shore power supply for cruise ships include
1. Realizing supply from a local electricity network. This option has the following advantages
o no local air pollution (SOx, NOx, PM10, PM2,5)
o less local noise production
o less regional and global air pollution
o improvement of on-board comfort
o Improved life span of the ship engines
2. The other option is to get energy from a mobile generator powered with LNG. This has the following advantages.
o Less local, regional and global air pollution (no SOx, NOx -80%, PM -95%, 20% CO2 reduction
o Flexible positioning
o No standing charges, possibly no VAT and no energy taxes,
o Improved on-board comfort
o Improved life span of the ship engines
OPS sea cruise Europe
The only way to realize on shore power supply is to use the European approach and the sector has acknowledged this. The on shore power supply can only be achievable if a certain critical quantity is reached. This will require large investments on board connectors by cruise lines. This investment will only be made, if a substantial number of terminals along the normal sailing routes will offer on shore power supply.
The port of Amsterdam in collaboration with cruise Europe, ports in North and Western Europe and cruise, lines sailing in Europe has taken the lead to realise a European project for on shore power supply. OPS Sea Cruise Europe
The project goal and activities
The definitive goal of the OPS Sea Cruise Europe project is to realise approximately 4 on shore power supply facilities at European Sea Cruise terminals.
In 2014, the port of Amsterdam together with Cruise Europe started an investigation on the conditions of a successful European implementation of on shore power supply facilities for sea cruise ships. An inventory of the technical data of various European sea cruise terminals was made. Moreover, an examination of the technical conditions of sea cruise ships of various companies was made.
The information gathered was used for a technical feasibility study where the environmental effects was investigated. Individual business cases for terminals and cruise lines was also prepared.
The next step if the outcomes of the studies are positive will be to sign a letter of intent by the interested European ports and shipping companies to realise the on shore power supply facilities for cruise ships within a period of 4 years after the start of the feasibility studies.
Rule on green cruising
In the last decade the recycling, incinerating and waste-processing were cutting edge on the cruise ships but are basic and expected processes today. Today green technologies have been incorporated in the newly built ships. These include;
• solar panels
• advance in hull design for efficiency in cutting through the water
• cooking oil conversion systems
• Energy efficient appliances.
Some of the older ship that are not as green are involved in other environmental practices such as tweaking arrival and departure times at ports to save fuel and decrease noise pollution.
The accurate execution of these studies and ideal projects results can only be achieved through sectorial European cooperation. This will entail a minimum of 4 European ports and at least 3 ship owners.
The lead of the OPS Sea Cruise Europe is the Port of Amsterdam and is still looking for partners to join the project. The partners will contribute in the execution of the feasibility studies and make a commitment towards realization of positive results.