Europe’s largest shore power plant was officially inaugurated by AIDA Cruise’s ’AIDAsol’, during the 12th German National Maritime Conference recently.
Establishing a shore power supply for cruise ships in Warnemünde, Germany, was the result of a joint agreement between AIDA Cruises, the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock and Rostock Port, signed in September, 2018.
“With our green cruising strategy, we have been investing in a sustainable cruise market for many years,” said AIDA’s Felix Eichhorn (pictured). “The shore power plant in Rostock-Warnemünde is another important step after the facility in Hamburg on our way to an emission-neutral cruise that we want to achieve with our fleet.
“I would like to thank the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and all partners involved for the good and trusting co-operation. Together, we are sending out an important signal, not just in Germany, but throughout Europe,” he said.
The shore power plant, which was completed last summer, is currently the largest in Europe. With an output of up to 20 megavolt amperes (MVA), two cruise ships can be supplied with electricity at the same time in Warnemünde at berths P7 and P8.
In regular passenger operation, ‘AIDAsol’ needs up to 4.5 MWh of electricity.
The use of shore power to supply ships with energy is a decisive step for AIDA Cruises to reduce local emissions to zero during berthing over time, as a cruise ship typically stays in port around 40% of its operating time, the company explained.
Since 2017, AIDA Cruises has been using Europe’s first shore power plant in Hamburg-Altona. Currently, 10 ships in the AIDA fleet can use shore power where available or are technically prepared for it. The aim is to convert all ships built from 2000 onwards.
With AIDA Cruises due to start a cruise season from Kiel, Germany, on 22nd May, ‘AIDAsol’ will also be the first cruise ship to complete the final tests on the newly built shore power plant at the port.
Its construction is the result of a joint initiative by the state government of Schleswig-Holstein, the city and the port of Kiel and AIDA Cruises. ‘AIDAsol’ was scheduled to arrive at Kiel on 13th May.
In addition, this year, ‘AIDAnova’ will receive the first fuel cell to be used on an ocean-going cruise ship. In 2022, the largest battery storage system to date in cruise shipping will go into operation on board an AIDA ship. The company is also already addressing the question of how regenerative fuels can be used on board cruise ships in the future.