Shore power for merchant vessels



Yann Duclot, Sales and Marketing Group Manager, Cavotec, Lugano, Switzerland Lorène Grandidier, Shore Connection Marketing Manager, Schneider Electric, Grenoble, France


As port authorities and shipping lines expand investment in sustainable technologies, shore power is one of several approaches that are becoming increasingly widely used. This article provides an overview of the growth in the use of shore power at container and bulk, and oil and gas applications, as well as key recommendations to implement it successfully.

A proven technology

Shore power, or ‘cold ironing’, is a proven technology that until around thirty years  ago was used primarily to supply electricalpower to naval vessels, privately owned non-commercial boats and yachts. As global trade has grown in the past forty years, especially following the rapid economic growth of China and other emerging economies, the emphasis for ports and shipping lines has increasingly been on competitiveness and cost efficiency.

Pressure to reduce costs and emissions

Because vessels using shore power have their engines turned off in port, shore power delivers economic benefits in terms of reduced fuel costs, as well as environmental benefits. Saving one Euro on the cost of transporting a shipping container, or one Euro per ton of bulk cargo, generates substantial savings over time. Growing numbers of larger vessels, particularly at ports located close to population centres, have presented operators with environmental challenges… 

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