A prominent example of how technology enhances the sustainability of even the most well-travelled ship, when MS Artania will arrive in the port of Bergen, Norway in July 2022, she will be equipped with modern plug-in power capability in accordance to the international ISO/IEC/IEEC standards.
Chartered by German travel agency Phoenix Reisen and managed by Bernhard Schulte Cruise Service, the distinguished voyager is being fitted with ABB’s high-voltage shore connection technology without drydocking while underway in the Mediterranean Sea. After the work has been completed in May 2022, the ship will be able to use shore power from the grid for all electricity consumers while in port, replacing engines and cutting direct emissions from a ship to zero.
Since her original delivery as Royal Princess in 1984, the 1,200-passenger capacity cruise ship Artania presents an outstanding example of a ship with both an illustrious cruising past and many years of earning power ahead.
“With a long tradition and a strong reputation as a responsible travel agency in the cruise industry, we aim to set the highest standards in passenger comfort and sustainability,” comments Johannes Zurnieden, Founder and CEO, Phoenix Reisen. “As more ports are making shore power available, we want to be at the forefront in ensuring our ships will be able to plug into the local grid for emissions-free port stays.”
Greater ship sustainability is also a becoming regulatory imperative. The International Maritime Organization is targeting at least a 40 percent reduction in ship greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The European Commission, meanwhile, has set a course for shipping to join the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), envisaging shipowners buying permits to cover all CO2 emissions inside the EU and for 50 percent of emissions from voyages starting and ending at EU ports.
Optimizing energy efficiency and flexibility of existing ships is a necessity, but there are limits to what is possible. The ability to tap into zero-emission shore power is therefore attractive and a ‘low hanging fruit’ of ship decarbonization. While emissions savings will depend on specific installations, ABB says that shore power typically allows a cruise ship to cut daily CO2 emissions by up to 35 percent if being plugged into shore power during 8-hour port call. This amounts to 13.77 metric tons of CO2 daily per ship – equivalent to the emissions from more than 1,000 combustion passenger cars.
However, for the mature ship, solutions also need to work within available space and provide a reasonable return on investment, which is why one of the most compelling aspects of retrofitting the 44,348gt Artania is that it did not result in downtime. Instead, a shore connection was added during sea trials - within the ship’s lifecycle management.
ABB’s track record of providing ship-specific upgrades adapted for standardized applications is widely acknowledged, while the high-voltage shore connection system is a technically mature solution which extends the vessel power distribution systems.
In fact, ABB delivered the world’s first shore power supply system to the Swedish port of Gothenburg in 2000 and the first shipside installation in 2001. It has since gathered shore connection technology references from 150 vessels of various types in over 30 countries around the world.
Today, shore connection is available through the installation of standardized, pre-assembled and factory-tested equipment from ABB which is easy to integrate with all shipboard electricity consumers, such as propulsion systems, HVAC, hotel load, restaurants and shops.
Nevertheless, a ship as well-known and illustrious as Artania will always be a special case, Marcus Martelin, Service Product Line Manager, Marine Systems Service, ABB Marine & Ports points out. The path towards a smooth installation depended on close cooperation with the customer at the design phase in a system engineering project which included cable planning and routing, the retrofitting of a shore connection box and control panel, and extension to the ship’s power management system.
“ABB delivers a system which is controlled from the ship itself and allows existing high-voltage switchboard technology to work with the requirements of international cruise ports,” said Martelin. “It is sustainable in harbor operation and has made a significant impact on local air quality wherever it is installed.
The global shore power market for all ship types has been estimated to grow from $1.26 billion in 2021 to $3.16 billion in 2028. The forecast relies on the willingness of merchant ship owners to follow precedent set by their cruise and ferry counterparts. It also depends on continuing the momentum among ports to invest grid-to-ship power facilities.