Fathom World

Mapping the transformation of shipping and the oceans

Marine Environment & Fuels

This Norwegian port has invested heavily to offer all visiting ships clean electricity

The south Norway port of Kristiansand is buzzing. It believes it has become the leading harbour in Europe offering shore power to visiting ships.

It may not seem a significant port when compared to the giants of Rotterdam, Hamburg or London Gateway,   but perched very close to the southern most tip of the Scandinavian country,  Kristiansand serves a growing number of vessel arrivals every year and has high aspirations for the future.

On the one hand the port has become a destination for smaller cruise ships looking for alternatives to the more popular ports and destinations around Norway’s popular summer coastline, but on the other Kristiansand Hamn has a sizeable  income from short sea routes that take containers and other cargoes such as wood products around Europe as well as a useful pot for vessels in the offshore industry.

It is also a home port for Color Line which runs a regular high speed service to Hirtshals in Denmark.

Today Kristiansand boasts four different shore power services around its facilities. The first was the installation for Color Line, the most recent one is a containerised system that sits on the recently developed cruise terminal. Two of the systems are n the ports offshore terminals, where particularly in recent months, vessels and rigs have spent lengthy periods alongside.

Shore based power is often known as AMP, alternative marine power, or even cold-ironing, a phrase that references the ability to switch of main engines.

The containers facing the  arriving cruise ships have brightly painted sides a brash proclamation of the city’s and even the country’s recent love of generating electricity from hydropower while it exports its oil and gas.

Color Line uses about 2.8 million Kilowatt hours annually in the port, and has a high voltage, 11,000 v which at 50hz delivers about 2,500 kW for the ferry operator.

It is worth noting that most European countries have 50Hz electricity supply, while in the US and a few other countries the supply is at a frequency of 60Hz. Most vessels operate with an onboard system at 60Hz so require a frequency adapter to sue shore power in such countries as Norway.

The ABB supplied system for Color Line was installed and operational in 2014.

Following that installation, Kristiansand issued a tender for a low voltage system, which was won by Swedish system maker Process Kontrol Elektriska in 2015 that was mobile, and then a tender a year later for a third system, with Danish firm PowerCon Hadsun winning that contract.

This third1400 kVA supply was opened in 2016 providing both 50 Hz and 60 Hz as well as a voltage range from 400V up to 690V.

Now, in 2018 the port went for what it says is certainly Europe’s largest facility to help provide the hotel load for visiting cruise vessels.

The 11kV system has been built to IEC standards (80005-1) and is fitted into nine 20’ containers, this says the power makes them mobile or movable, though in reality it would take quite an effort to shift all none containers and re-couple them to a power supply.


About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.