Port of Helsinki’s South Harbour brings onshore power online


The Port of Helsinki has deployed onshore power supply (OPS) for vessels at its South Harbour following a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new OPS connection for passenger ships was completed next to the Olympia Terminal at the South Harbour in Helsinki at the end of 2020. However, placement of the system into service was delayed from the original plan due to travel restrictions.

After passenger traffic began to recover, the testing of the system was completed and the onshore power supply was made available to ship traffic. 

Ville Haapasaari, CEO of the Port of Helsinki, commented, “This environmental investment improves air quality and reduces both carbon dioxide emissions and noise in the centre of Helsinki.

“For us, the use of an onshore power supply at the port is an important step towards a carbon-neutral port by 2035. In the near future, we will also be starting several similar onshore power investments in other parts of the port.”

While ships are berthed in port the onshore power supply will reduce the climate emissions generated considerably, by as much as 50% to 80%.

When ships are supplied with electricity from the shore, there is no need to keep the auxiliary engines running to generate electricity. 

The international standards on technical solutions for the implementation of an onshore power supply are still lacking in part, and large investments must be customised according to the needs of each moment, the port said.

The investment in an OPS for the Olympia Terminal included automation engineering and technology, renovation of the existing transformer, quay construction – and the onshore power system and its installation.

OPS connections were implemented for the Tallink Silja ships operating from the Olympia Terminal earlier, in 2018 and 2019.

The South Harbour’s onshore power project is partly funded by the EU under the TWIN PORT IV project. In the near future, the Port of Helsinki will also implement several projects supporting carbon neutrality with support from funding provided by the EU’s CEF Transport funding programme.

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