Onshore power connection for vessels

Today the majority of the regular ferry services to and from Ports of Stockholm already connect to onshore power. Ports of Stockholm is working together with energy providers, other ports, and customers to investigate further infrastructure developments.

Ferry services are connected to onshore power

The Viking Line vessels Gabriella and Mariella, operating on the Helsinki route, have connected to onshore power since the 1980s. During 2019, four Tallink Silja vessels, Silja Symphony, Silja Serenade, Baltic Queen and Victoria, operating on the Helsinki and Tallinn routes, respectively, have also connected to onshore power. Two more vessels, the Romantika and the Isabelle, operating on the Riga route, will also become connected to onshore power in 2020. At the port of Nynäshamn the Polferries Gdansk-route vessel, Wawel, is connected to onshore power. The archipelago and charter boat services all connect to electricity at the quayside in Stockholm.

The services already connected to onshore power are also those where onshore power connection has the greatest impact, as those vessels constitute by far the most frequent traffic. The same vessels operate on routes to and from the same ports. A small number of obvious partners are involved and can jointly agree on one solution and funding.

International cruise ships

For the international cruise ships that call during the summer season there is currently no possibility to connect to onshore power at Ports of Stockholm's ports. Some of the quays are however better prepared than others to enable this, for example those at the new Värtahamnen port.

Ports of Stockholm is developing an action plan ro be able to offer the cruise liners onshore power connection at the quayside. This is a long-term effort, as it requires collaboration and dialogue with the shipping companies and with the other Baltic Sea ports. It also requires a high power output supply and major investment.

Connecting a cruise liner to onshore power is much more complex than connecting the regular ferry services, as the cruise liners visit many ports throughout the world and perhaps visit any individual port on only one occasion. Although there is now a common standard, connection is still a matter of more or less complex and costly local adaptations. The power supply requirements are also much greater than those of the ferries. The power usage of a huge cruise liner can be as much as the electricity requirements of an entire city district.

Until now it has also been difficult to determine a global principle for onshore power connection, but the responsible international organisations, together with the world’s ports, have recently agreed on a common standard for high voltage onshore power connection.

Ports of Stockholm’s strategy and environmental discounts

Whenever ports or quays are constructed or refurbished, the strategy of Ports of Stockholm is to install facilities to enable vessels to connect to onshore power at these quay-berths. For example, all of the quay-berths at the Värtahamnen port are enabled for onshore power connection. At the Stockholm Norvik Port, which will open in 2020, all quay-berths have onshore power connection capabilities.

For many years Ports of Stockholm has offered environmental discounts to encourage customers to implement environmentally beneficial measures. These incentives focus on reduced emission of air pollutants and reward vessels that have better environmental performance. For example, a grant of SEK 1 million is offered to shipping companies choosing to invest in vessel-conversion for onshore power connection.

Ports of Stockholm’s jurisdiction

Ports of Stockholm is classed as a public port. This means that the port authorities must in principle allow any vessel that wants to use the port to do so. In other words, Ports of Stockholm cannot insist that vessels connect to onshore power.