Project ReCharge launched to boost Norway's shore power capabilities

16 Oct 2015

Representatives from the maritime industry are teaming up with engineers and investors to expand the use of electrically powered ships in Norway.

Project ReCharge, headed up by DNV GL, brings together international engineering group Cavotec, the Port of Oslo and data analytics-driven online lending company, Enova, which is contributing almost half of the NOK1.45m (US$180,000) budget. Participants hope to see Norway become the world leader in environmentally-friendly ships.

The project will review the practicalities of expanding the availability of shore power at Norway’s ports and research different power systems, such as battery-powered vessels and hybrids. According to DNV GL, around 40 hybrid ships are on order for Norwegian shipping lines, with a similar number of plug-in hybrid vessels also expected to enter service in the near future.

Shore power, also known as cold ironing, is the process of connecting ships in port to the electrical grid and switching off their engines. This reduces emissions of NOx, SOx and particulate matter.

Sofus Gedde Dahl, managing director of Cavotec Norway, said: “We supported research and development into electric cars in Norway, now we need to establish an innovation platform for the electrification of ships.”

“If we pool our expertise with fellow suppliers, customers and other stakeholders, I believe that we have the necessary technical know-how and insight to significantly broaden access to shore power,” he added.

The project is not without its technical challenges. Cavotec remains undeterred, pointing out that despite the difference between voltages used by many ships (60Hz) and those employed on land (50Hz), it is still possible for vessels to connect to shore power.

Although not part of the European Union, this initiative will bring Norway’s ports into line with an EU directive requiring that all member-state ports make shore power available by 2025.

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