Marseille Claims French First in Move for Shore Power

Monday July 13, 2015

The Marseille Fos Port Authority has announced in an emailed press release it is set to introduce shore power for ships berthed in the port, claiming it as a first for both France and the Mediterranean.

The service will be launched in conjunction with Corsica and Sardinia operator, La Meridionale, which will no longer require diesel generators during port calls of the company's vessels, Kalliste, Girolata, and Piana.

The facility will reportedly be available from this October, when the quayside power network and adaptations to the company's vessels are complete.

"Switching to environmentally-friendly shoreside electricity will reduce noise, fuel consumption and air emissions," said the port authority.

"For each ship, the change will eliminate CO2 and particle emissions equivalent to more than 3,000 vehicles per day on the 64km route from Marseille to Aix, while NOx emissions will fall by the equivalent of 65,000 vehicles per day.

The project, a reported €4.4 million ($4.87 million) initiative, is said to come after several years of studies and is part-financed by national and regional government aid.

So far this year opinion has been divided on the relevance of shore power.

In May, James Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority said the technology "has really been rendered as a last-generation solution at most major ports."

In the same month, plans to provide shore power at Hong Kong's Kai Tak terminal were postponed on the grounds that few cruise liners could or would use the system.

In response, several industry players have voiced their support for the technology saying it is "still a valid option" for reducing at-berth vessel emissions, and last month the Port of Oakland attributed much of its recent reduction in emissions to the use of shore power.