The switch-on ceremony was presided over by port chairman Øistein Christoffersen, who received a cheque for NOK2.5 million (USD323,000) towards to the cost of the Schneider Electric-Cavotec system from Bergen city environmental commissioner Henning Warloe – who gave the order to start the system operating.
“The future is green and we have to prepare for it,” Warloe told guests, who included executives from several major European ports as well as Bogdan Oldakowski, secretary general of the Baltic Ports Organisation.
Christoffersen added, “This is a great day for the port and city and our thanks go to the DOF Group as well as Schneider and Cavotec and the many agencies and people who have made this possible.”
Installed at the terminal used by offshore vessels, the low voltage system – designed to meet the ISO/PAS 80005-3 standard – consists of a Schneider Electric ‘ShoreBox’ that handles the power supply and a fixed Cavotec cable-handling AMP [alternative maritime power] unit.
Speaking to IHS Maritime at the ceremony, port chief executive officer Inge Tangerås said the system “cost us well over NOK7 million [about USD1 million]. There are no economics of scale”, he added, “so if we expand the shore power supply in the future, a second unit will cost the same”.
At an earlier seminar, he said offshore vessel operators were showing interest in shore power, noting that during bad weather in the winter, up to 20 vessels moored in Bergen.
He hoped too that cruise ship lines would also show interest, “Germany-based AIDA is leading the way, but it’s not easy to make it profitable, at least not in the short term. There should be financial incentives, through governments for example.”
Tangerås praised DOF Group for fitting shore power ability to Skandi Vega, “Given low oil prices, it is challenging for offshore operators right now, but DOF has invested and is the first to benefit.”
Aboard Skandi Vega, DOF operations manager Captain Nils Olav Troland told IHS Maritime that investment amounted to NOK500,000. “We are always the first when it comes to environmental protection!” he said.
IHS Maritime asked if there were plans to similarly equip further DOF vessels – about 10 in total call at Bergen. “We have no immediate plans, but it could easily happen,” Troland said.
The system also won praise from ‘Eco Admiral’ Kurt Oddekalv, president of the Green Warriors of Norway. “It’s a very good day for Bergen,” he told IHS Maritime. “Because of its situation in the mountains, the city can have very bad air days. This is a step in the right direction.”