Stena Line installs onshore power supply connection to support electric ferry fleet

Ferry giant Stena Line has installed what it claims is Oslo's first onshore power supply connection for ferries, in a move that will enable it to recharge its hybrid-electric boats in port for the first time.

Stena Line has pledged to install power supply connections for electrified ferries at 25% of its terminals by 2020

Stena Line has pledged to install power supply connections for electrified ferries at 25% of its terminals by 2020

The dockside power supply connection, which came online in the Swedish capital on Tuesday (8 January), will support Stena Line’s 14 hybrid-electric boats. The first of these vessels will be the Stena Saga – the boat used for all the firm’s crossings between Denmark and Oslo.

The Port of Oslo had already been fitted with several recharging points for smaller vessels and electric vehicles (EVs), but Stena Line’s infrastructure is the first at the port to support ferries.

Overall, the new charging point is expected to result in a fuel saving of around 1,400 tonnes every year for Stena Line. According to the Swedish transport firm, this will eliminate an amount of emissions equivalent to those produced by 1,300 petrol cars every year from the business’s carbon footprint.

"The completion of another onshore power supply connection in the Port of Oslo is an important milestone in our efforts to reduce emissions,” Stena Line’s head of sustainability Erik Lewenhaupt said.

"Many of our vessels call at locations close to cities which makes it especially important to be able to shut down engines when docked."

The launch of the charging point comes as Stena Line strives to meet a 2020 target of installing power supply connections for electrified ferries at 25% of its terminals. The company has also set a target of reducing its annual fuel consumption by 2.5% annually until 2025, when the goal will be reviewed.

All at sea for sustainability

The world's leading ocean transport and shipping companies are making progress towards decarbonisation and fuel efficiency, after the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) set a 2050 target of halving CO2 emissions from 2008 levels.

In 2016, the IMO approved a roadmap through to 2023 on the global adoption of an emissions reduction strategy. Since then, more than 170 countries have reached an agreement to reduce CO2 emissions from their respective maritime sectors by at least 50%, against a 2008 baseline.

In the corporate sphere, food and agricultural company Cargill last year launched its first green innovation competition for the shipping sector, calling on inventors to develop and scale new technologies with the potential to reduce the shipping sector's gross CO2 emissions by 10%.

Such innovations could include Artificial Intelligence (AI) – which Stena Line is using to boost fuel efficiency across its fleet of 38 ferries – or closed-loop fuels made using waste from the oil or seafood sectors. Fully-electric vessels could also prove key to decarbonising the shipping sector, with container shipper Maersk having committed last year to stimulate the market for such technology as part of its plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

Nonetheless, the low-carbon transition has continually been slow to take hold in the wider ocean transport industry. According to a report by the European Parliament, the international shipping industry is currently responsible for about 2.5% of global CO2 emissions – but this proportion could rise to 17% by 2050 if the sector is left unregulated.

Sarah George


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