Shore power goes live in Southampton
ABP’s head of cruise, Rebekah Keeler, says: “We are delighted to have reached this exciting milestone and we are looking forward to working with multiple cruise lines this year as they plug in for zero emissions at berth and make tangible progress towards their own decarbonisation goals. A massive thank you to our teams, partners and customers for all their work so far.”
AIDA Cruises’ AIDAcosma and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 can now use the port’s shore power. Further cruise ships are scheduled for commissioning this April and throughout the year, including Celebrity Cruises’ new building Celebrity Beyond on a maiden visit and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima, which will make a number of calls in the summer and autumn.
The total shore power project cost was £9 million (€10.8 million), supported by a grant from the Solent Local Growth Deal, arranged through the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). ABP worked with Powercon as the main contractor to implement the scheme on site.
The UK government recently announced the launch of its UK SHORE unit to encourage and help facilitate sustainable shipping. Maritime minister Robert Courts MP, says: “[This is] yet another significant milestone in the journey to decarbonising the maritime sector. As we work towards building a green maritime legacy, it’s amazing to see ports such as ABP’s Port of Southampton leading by example to utilise clean maritime technologies for a greener port and better air quality.”
Solent LEP chair, Rachael Randall, says: "It's fantastic to see the results of our contribution to this project - the first major commercial berth and cruise port to use plug in technology in the UK, resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions while improving local air quality."
ABP Cruise is set to welcome over two million passengers during 2022. Highlights include seven cruiseships making maiden calls to Southampton and Azamara Cruises making its Southampton debut with Azamara Onward. Meanwhile, Hull will welcome Phoenix Reisen for the first time, with Amadea making a maiden call in June.
ABP Cruise’s activities for 2022 represent a natural and exciting progression from 2021, which saw the welcome return of domestic and international cruising. During the year, the Port of Southampton had 773 days, alongside with 239 passenger operations, and ABP’s Wales and Short Sea ports enjoyed an overall increase in cruise calls from 2019 levels.
“ABP Cruise’s ports and destinations offer something for everyone and bring economic value across the UK, so we are thrilled to see such a comprehensive programme for 2022,” says Keeler. “As an industry, everyone has come together to navigate challenges and adapt to new ways of working. Together we will continue to meet evolving requirements and create excellent guest experiences, ensuring we welcome new and returning passengers through the year.”