Decarbonizing ports for the 21st century

Decarbonizing ports for the 21st century

Jun. 2 2022 - 4 min

Sustainability is driving the shipping industry, but this goes beyond vessels at sea. Ports too must adapt to the energy transition, and ship owners need to take measures to meet decarbonization targets and reduce air and noise pollution. Bureau Veritas is supporting port authorities and ship operators to create a new generation of ports.

A shore-to-ship energy supply

Shore-to-ship power, or onshore power supply (OPS), is one solution being developed to reduce maritime emissions in port. Ships connect to a land-based electricity grid, meaning they can cut their engines and reduce pollution at berth.

This alternative power supply is driven by the need to reduce emissions to meet IMO targets, and by more stringent European regulations. The European Commission’s Fit for 55 package proposal calls for a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. Furthermore, from 2030 onwards, all container and passenger ships will be required to connect to shore power for port calls lasting over two hours. A few exemptions will apply, for example in the case of unscheduled port calls in emergencies.

The FuelEU Maritime regulation also focuses on EU ports. Terminals with over 50 annual containership calls over the last three years will need to provide OPS to meet 90% of energy demand for ships over 5,000 gross tons.

OPS is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when ships are in port. However, to ensure cost-effective OPS implementation, ports and shipping companies must work in close cooperation when modifying existing berths and building new ones. This also applies when ordering new vessels equipped with shore power connectivity.

Shore-to-ship power must also meet various technical standards, for example ISO/IEC/IEEC 80005-1. Bureau Veritas is engaged in the certification of shore power for inland navigation vessels. To guarantee the safe functioning of installations, shore power is governed by the ES-TRIN European standard providing technical requirements for inland navigation vessels. The requirements cover the electrical shore connection for different operating currents and focus on the on-board unit for vessels in the lower range of operation.

Shoreside battery power for zero emissions

To reduce emissions in port, ships can also switch to battery power. Hybrid electric propulsion enables vessels to emit zero emissions when at berth. While it may be initially costly to install a battery system, increasingly sophisticated technologies and competition between manufacturers is driving costs down. The roll-out of onshore power supply will also mean ships can recharge their batteries by connecting to the electrical grid in port.

Bureau Veritas has worked on vessels with onboard battery power, including the polar cruise ship Le Commandant Charcot. We offer an ELECTRIC HYBRID notation for vessels using both conventional engines and batteries, which therefore have better energy storage systems. Our in-house experts perform risk analysis and provide our clients with all the information they need on battery solutions.

Forward-looking support for greener ports

Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore is by its clients’ side to develop the ports of the 21st century. Our in-depth knowledge of maritime regulations and expertise in onshore power and battery propulsion enable us to provide expert support to both port authorities and ship owners.