The Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Southampton has successfully commissioned and utilized a shore power facility designed for cruise ships. It is situated at the port’s Horizon Cruise Terminal and Mayflower Cruise Terminal, and enables certain cruise ships to plug in for zero emissions when at berth.
Supported by a grant from the Solent Local Growth Deal which was arranged through the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Port’s shore power project cost a total of £9m (US11.8m) to complete. Having first announced it was investing in shore power for the Horizon Cruise Terminal in 2019, ABP Southampton went on to announce in 2021 that it was going to install a second shore power connection at the Mayflower Cruise Terminal. Powercon were used at the main contractor to implement the system at the site.
The latest AIDA Cruises’ vessel the AIDAcosma and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 are already able to take full advantage of the new system with other cruise ships scheduled for commissioning during 2022. These will include the Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Beyond and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima.
“We are delighted to have reached this exciting milestone and we are looking forward to working with multiple cruise lines this year as they plug in for zero emissions at berth and make tangible progress towards their own decarbonization goals,” said Rebekah Keeler, head of cruise, ABP.
To further facilitate and encourage sustainable shipping around the country, the UK government also recently announced its UK SHORE unit.
“Yet another significant milestone in the journey to decarbonizing the maritime sector,” commented Robert Courts MP, maritime minister. “As we work towards building a green maritime legacy, it’s amazing to see ports such as ABP’s Port of Southampton leading by example to utilize clean maritime technologies for a greener port and better air quality. They’ve done a brilliant job with their shore power facility for cruise ships.”
Solent LEP Chair Rachael Randall added, “At the LEP, we’re committed to pioneering approaches to climate change adaptation and decarbonization so it’s fantastic to see the results of our contribution to this project – the first major commercial berth and cruise port to use plug-in technology in the UK, resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions while improving local air quality.”