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Shore-to-ship energy for Canadian port

ABB technology is being used to lower environmental impact and cut noise pollution at Vancouver shipping terminal

The ability to shut down engines at the port will curtail polluting substances
The ability to shut down engines at the port will curtail polluting substances

ABB technology is being used to enable shore-to-ship power supply at Canada’s largest port. The project is part of a joint commitment by the federal government and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to reduce environmental impact.


The solution will enable power to be supplied from shore to the Global Container Terminal (GCT) Deltaport, Canada’s largest container port, located in Delta, British Columbia. It is designed to handle trans-Pacific container vessels.

The Deltaport terminal is spread over 1 sq km with three berths across 1,100 metres. ABB’s shore-to-ship solution will enable ships to connect to the electrical grid of Canadian utility, BC Hydro, instead of using diesel generators. ABB will provide the design, engineering and supply of key technologies like the high voltage shore connection system, with protection, control and communication capabilities.

The ability to shut down ship engines at the port will curtail polluting substances such as nitrogen and sulphur oxides (NOx and SOx), and will also mitigate noise and vibration levels, to support the terminal’s sustainability goals.


By plugging in to the grid when berthed and shutting down their engines, vessels will not only help reduce the port’s environmental impact, but will also become eligible for discounted power supply, as a further acknowledgement of their voluntary emission reduction measures.

“We are pleased to deploy ABB’s shore-to-ship power technology to support Vancouver’s environmental efforts at Canada’s largest port and busiest container terminal,” said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s grid integration business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division.


“This innovative, energy-efficient solution will not only benefit the port authority and the city but also ship owners and local residents. It reiterates ABB’s focus on creating customer value and lowering environmental impact.”

A large cruise vessel running its auxiliary engines on diesel, to power its loads while in port, emits the equivalent amount of NOx as 10,000 cars driving from Zurich to London, in eight hours.


ABB’s solution to power ships with electricity supplied from shore includes special substations that can cater to both 50Hz and 60Hz vessels from different parts of the world, together with on-board connections and automation panels. This enables ships to shut down their engines while berthed and plug in to an onshore power source, without disrupting on-board services.

This solution can eliminate 98 percent of emissions as well as the noise and vibrations, making it possible to have ports in the middle of cities and people can enjoy living right on the water’s edge. And from the ship owner’s perspective, it reduces maintenance and operating costs.


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