Norway’s ports reduce emissions with ABB shore-to-ship power technology

New shore-to-ship power in Norway’s ports can potentially reduce nearly 15,000 tons of carbon emissions each year

Offshore support vessels (OSVs) can now switch off their diesel generators in some of Norway’s major docks and plug-in to shoreside power. NorSea Group, a company that provides offshore support services, is using ABB drives to support shore-to-ship technology at four of its bases along Norway’s coast. The new facilities allow OSVs to cut their diesel generators while docked and plug-in to the port electricity supply.


“Typically, an OSV will spend up to two and a half days in dock, burning 2,000 liters of fuel a day. That’s why we anticipate that installing shore-to-ship power facilities will deliver a total annual saving of up to 15,000 tons of carbon - equal to removing 7,000 standard cars off the road each year,” says Ralf Larsen, Project Director at Norsea. “It will also cut nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides emissions, as well as reduce noise pollution.”

Customers are driving Norway’s green port revolution

Norsea’s offshore oil and gas customers are leading the effort to reduce emissions. For example, Equinor, the Norwegian energy giant, has said it is targeting a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf by 2030. It wants to adopt an environmental approach across every aspect of its operations and sees shore-to-ship power as a key measure to achieve this aim.

Enova, the Norwegian government enterprise responsible for promoting environmentally friendly energy production and consumption, recognizes the importance of the project. It has contributed around 90% of the $8.5 million dollar cost.

ABB’s industrial drives at the heart of the solution

The system integrator for the shore-to-ship power project for all four bases is Norway’s Teknisk Bureau. They chose ABB’s ACS880 industrial drives to provide a highly reliable and stable power supply for the vessels.

“The drives play a vital role in converting the 50 Hertz (Hz) alternating current (AC) supply from the shoreside grid to the 60 Hz required by the vessel’s onboard network,” says Anders Everbrand of ABB’s Motion business in Norway. “They feature a novel Optimal Grid Control (OGC) function developed to support microgrid operations – this project is the first time that OGC has been deployed in a customer application.”


Teknisk Bureau faced the challenge of installing all the equipment into a standard 20 foot shipping container and still have room to operate. Another concern was how to handle the heat generated by the equipment.

“The ACS880 drive with its compact air-cooled design and OGC function provided the perfect, cost-effective answer,” says Andre Aarthun, Teknisk Burea Project Manager. “We also have confidence that the drive has been subjected to a rigorous test program and can withstand everything the harsh Norwegian climate can throw at it.”

As a pioneering technology leader, ABB has provided drives for 16 containers deploying shore-to-ship power for ports at Kistiansund, Dusavik, Tananger and Hammerfest.

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