August 8, 2022 – CLIA Germany, the regional branch of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), reports that the CLIA member shipping companies are open to the topic of shore power.
Cruise ships have a reputation for contributing to environmental pollution to the best of their ability. The accusation may be justified in relation to old ships and underperforming small shipping companies. However, the world's leading shipping companies are making efforts to keep the CO2 emissions of their cruise ships low. Two essential technical measures are the omission of heavy fuel oil and the use of scrubber systems. Scrubbers "wash" the exhaust gases and, above all, significantly reduce the ships' sulfur emissions. – Another effective way to reduce ship emissions is to use shore power. On port days, shore power makes ships almost independent of their own power generation by continuing to operate the ship's engines. The air quality in the port of destination will not be adversely affected when the engines are switched off. "Green" shore power keeps the onboard systems running.
AIDAcosma - the scrubber system cleans the exhaust gases in the port of Zeebrugge
CLIA states that 35 percent of global cruise ship capacity is currently equipped with shore power connections. More than 80 percent of all new buildings already have shore power connections when they are commissioned. Within the next five years, two thirds of cruise ships will be equipped with shore power connections.
Despite this welcome development, the cruise industry and the environment suffer from the fact that fewer than 20 ports worldwide offer shore power for large cruise ships. In Germany, the ports of Hamburg, Kiel and Rostock-Warnemünde are equipped with shore power systems. The connection of a large cruise ship with a power consumption of up to 12 megawatts to the shore power grid requires a suitable technical infrastructure including power plant, supply lines and conversion systems. In order to ensure uninterrupted ship operation and to implement a permanent connection to the external power grid, various tests and synchronization measures are required for one and the same ship in every port that offers shore power. Last week we reported on the test run of the Mein Schiff 6 in the port of Kiel for receiving shore power.
Mein Schiff 6 - Shore power supply in the port of Kiel - Photo©TUI Cruises
However, there is movement on the topic of shore power: As part of the EU's "Fit for 55 program", all major ports in the European Union are obliged to set up shore power supply by 2030. Until that happens, the “decarbonization” of the cruise industry will require a lot of patience.