Hamburg Port Authority – Onshore Power Supply (OPS)

The city of Hamburg is pursuing a sustainable improvement of air quality. One major contributor to reaching this goal is the port. The emissions of air pollutants and noise by shipping vessels in close vicinity to the city center can be reduced by the provision of OPS facilities. Container vessels as well as cruise ships at berth will be supplied with CO2-neutral electricity from the public power grid. During the development of this project the following challenges had to be addressed:

  • Identifying the ship berths with the greatest environmental impact for OPS
  • Seamless integration of OPS facilities into ongoing terminal operations
  • Maintaining the port’s competitiveness: Gaining shipping companies’ trust and confidence into the technical solution while also offering a financially and environmentally attractive service

The three container terminals closest to the city center as well as all cruise terminals will be equipped with OPS stations, totaling 11 OPS-equipped berths. In order to achieve this task, HPA formed a joint project with the local power grid provider (Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH) and its municipal electricity provider (Hamburg Energie GmbH). This interdisciplinary partnership was tasked with improving the quality of life and health for Hamburg’s citizens, not interfering with ongoing terminal operations and gaining shipping companies’ acceptance for a service that had just recently been standardized and was not widely accepted.

The consortium jointly developed a business case so as to allow a pricing per kilowatt hour (kWh) close to the shipping companies’ on-board cost for diesel-generated power. CAPEX is partially funded by the city of Hamburg in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. While being a front runner for OPS in Europe a close cooperation with other European ports facilitates exchange of knowledge and ensures comparable processes for the vessel owners.

By the year 2025 all OPS sites are expected to be in operation and make a significant contribution to achieve our objective to become a carbon neutral port by 2040 and allowing vessel owners to reduce their carbon footprint. With approximately 400 OPS calls per year, the annually reduced emissions of various air pollutants are estimated as following:

  • nitrogen oxide (NOx): 383 t
  • sulphur oxide (SOx): 11 t
  • fine particulate matter (PM 2.5): 2 t
  • carbon dioxide (CO2): 30,000 t