Kiel joins list of cold ironing ports

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

29 October 2018


Construction has begun on a new shore electrical connection for commercial vessels at the port of Kiel.

Although later planned to benefit the whole of the port, the first connections will be made at the Norwegenkai Terminal with Norwegian ferry operator Color Line as the main user. Taking part in the spade cutting ceremony were the Economics Minister of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Dr Bernd Buchholz, Kiel’s Lord Mayor Dr Ulf Kämpfer, Port Director Dr Dirk Claus und Color Line GmbH Managing Director Dirk Hundertmark along with Lars Nürnberger, head of Kiel’s Siemens AG branch office.

Kiel Port
The cruise ship MSC Opera from MSC Cruises has moored at the cruise terminal Ostseekai in Kiel.

From Spring 2019 it will be possible to supply large cruise ferries with all the electrical power they need during the time they are berthed in Kiel. “We are taking action to make a substantial contribution to air purification”, said Minister Buchholz. “The use of onshore power supply sustainably reduces ship emissions during time spent in port. We support this trend-setting project and beyond that advocate at government level to improve the overall economic conditions for the use of onshore power.” The onshore power supply plant for the Norwegenkai is part of the BLUE PORT concept, in which further facilities of this kind are already being planned for Kiel. Dirk Claus said: “Upon completion of the Norwegenkai onshore power plant, the Schwedenkai Terminal and the Cruise Shipping Terminal Ostseekai will also be equipped with onshore power supply facilities by 2020. It is our intention to provide half of all ship calls in Kiel with onshore power in future. Doing so means that we are setting a new European standard.”

The Norwegenkai onshore power supply plant has a maximum power rating of 4.5MW at 10KV and a network frequency of 50Hz. The core components of the plant are the land-to-ship power transfer station (PLUG), manufactured by NG3. The PLUG power transfer station is equipped with a programmable controller which communicates with the medium voltage switchboard located in the onshore power supply station. All the required switching procedures communicated by the ship via the interface are carried out automatically. Prior to power transfer from shore to ship taking place, the system checks the functionality of all plug and cable connections. Once completed, the onshore power connection is switched on. The ship synchronises itself with the onshore power plant which replaces the on-board power supply.

Color line currently operates two conventional vessels on its Kiel-Oslo service. The operator also has Color Hybrid as the world’s largest hybrid ferry under construction at the Ulstein yard in Norway although this vessel is presently not intended to operate on the Kiel route.