AMP'd up, Cavotec style

01 Jul 2007

Viewed by many on the US west coast as the driver in greener solutions for powering ships in dock, Cavotec has developed three different types of its branded Alternative Maritime Supply (AMP) units. Ship-based systems, semi-fixed systems and shore-based systems offer a supply of electrical power to docked vessels, obviating the need for a ship to use onboard resources during cargo operations. 

Among other projects, Cavotec is supplying a cable management system to permit Alaska Class tankers calling at the BP Terminal in the Port of Long Beach to connect to a shore-based electrical supply to power their on board pumps. The equipment will be installed on a specially built dolphin, with the power and communication cables being automatically adjusted to the required length and tension at any given moment. Once fully operational, NOx emissions in the harbour will be reduced by more than 22 tonnes/year.

Cost savings to be derived from the use of shore power depend on local regulations, but are particularly interesting in the case where government supplied shore-based electricity attracts a tax reduction (as is possible under an European Union directive). In other situations, the cost of shore power can be comparable with power generation on board.

Luciano Corbetta, Cavotec Marine Division manager, notes that the impact of AMP deployment on the quay is very positive.Not only is connection to shore power quickly established, but this does not interfere with any subsequent quayside operations. However, the main benefit from the use of AMP is the virtual elimination of NOx, SOx and diesel particulate matter emissions from a ship during its stay in port.Noise reduction is another main selling point,since on board engines can be shut down during handling activities.

“Interest in acquiring AMP is spreading around the world.Virtually every major port has investigated the installation of such systems. US West Coast and Baltic Sea region ports are leading the way, but others, such as Rotterdam, Hong Kong and Tokyo, are all about to follow suit,”notes Mr Corbetta.

The lack of an international standard, which is nevertheless expected next year, has to some extent held back the development of shore-based power supply. However, a strong environmental case is now being made which offsets the capital investment involved in both equipping berths and adapting the vessels themselves.

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