Ferries play a vital role in the public transport infrastructure of many waterside towns and cities. Vessels, which remain in ports for six hours on average, need electricity to run amenities such as heating, ventilation, cooling and galley equipment. Currently the electricity is produced with onboard diesel generators, which are a constant source of noise, vibrations, noxious emissions and the accompanying unpleasant smell.
Today, more than 100,000 vessels dock at 4,500 ports worldwide producing around 900 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. This is equivalent to the emissions from 220 coal-fired power plants and it has been estimated that by year 2015 the volume of trade carried by sea will have tripled.
ABB's shore-to-ship power solution helps to reduce emissions by 98 percent and cut noise and vibrations in ports substantially by connecting ships to the port's electricity grid via shore-to-ship power connection. This means that ferries no longer have to run their engines in port, which allows them to operate their amenities more efficiently and with lower emissions by connecting to an onshore power supply.
On June 15, ABB's fully integrated shore-to-ship power solution was activated at the port of Rotterdam. The operator of the terminal, Stena Line B.V., a subsidiary of Stena AB, one of the world's largest ferry companies, has taken steps to mitigate the negative impact of their operations on the local community and the environment.
As part of the plan to cut their fleet's fuel consumption, Stena Line invested in the complete electrical infrastructure needed to simultaneously power two vessels while berthed in the port of Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands.
To support Stena Line in their ambitious plan, ABB supplied a complete substation and automation package based on PCS 6000 static frequency converters rated at 6 MVA (megavolt amperes), including the design, engineering, project management, installation as well as the commissioning. Frequency converters adapt the power from 50 Hz (hertz), the standard grid frequency in Europe, to 60 Hz, the system frequency of most vessels. The entire installation, both onshore and onboard the ships was accomplished by ABB within a year of receiving the purchase order in July 2011. The solution was shipped in December 2011 and was operational by mid June 2012.
"It is important for us to improve air quality as much as possible and find a sustainable solution for the local residents, which is why we decided to install shore-to-ship power," said Pim de Lange, Managing Director of Stena Line Netherlands. "ABB is a reliable partner, its excellent reputation in the industry and our previous working experience with the company were the reasons why we chose ABB as a supplier for this project," said de Lange.
Hoek van Holland, a district of Rotterdam situated on the North Sea coast and with an estimated population of around 10,000, is one of the main ferry ports connecting mainland Europe to Britain. The inhabitants of Hoek van Holland are familiar with the adverse effects of having a ferry port on their doorstep since there is no buffer zone between the local community and the port.
"I live in Hoek van Holland, near to the Stena Line dock, which is behind my house. In the past, when ships arrived and when they were docked we would usually hear a lot of noise and feel vibrations, but now it is nice and quiet," said Rieki Sliep, a local inhabitant.
To comply with the demanding requirements to reduce port emissions, both ship-owners and ports need to rely on innovative technologies. ABB's shore-to-ship power is an investment that reduces the environmental burden improving quality of life and saving money in the long term by cutting down fuel consumption.
Want to know more about this shore-to-ship installation, please watch the video below.