At the Port of Antwerp an OPS connection for container vessels has been developed by the Independent Maritime Terminal, which is owned by the Independent Container Lines company. Development of the system was initiated by ICL. The initial aim of the project was to improve onboard working conditions for the crew and reduce the environmental impact of berthed ships.
“What originally started as a basic idea on improving the living conditions of the people on board the vessels, soon became a dream of the IMT directors and shareholders on a direct contribution to care for a better environment”. Chris April, Independent Container Lines.
Part of costs subsidized
The Antwerp Port Authority and the Flemish government have together subsidized 45 % of the costs of this project, which total € 1.1 million. The Flemish government provided over € 400,000, the Antwerp Port Authority € 96,000.
These costs cover installation of a 1 MVA at the Antwerp terminal and fitting the necessary ancillary equipment on board three ships. As the capacity of the existing power grid to the terminal was more than ample, the costs of this project can be evaluated as relatively low.
50 and 60 Hz
The system is unique in that it can switch between 50 and 60 Hz, unlike the systems in use in the USA. The system provides vessels with 6.6 kV at either 50 Hz or 60 Hz through a single cable. In the shoreside installation the grid voltage is lowered prior to frequency conversion, and then stepped up again, permitting use of a single high-voltage cable. On board the voltage is transformed again to match the voltage of the onboard systems.
The cable and connecting system have been retrofitted underground into the quay. The visiting ships have been fitted with a cable reel system, eliminating the need for a crane.
The single cable is lowered onto the quay, where it is manually connected. After the cable has been connected, power synchronization can take place.
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