UK’s first dockside power supply arrives in Southampton by 2022
Southampton is set to become the UK’s first commercial port to provide shore power. By 2022, the port plans to have cold ironing technology in two of the city’s five cruise terminals. Although this effort has been delayed by technical and economic challenges, it follows a growing trend across Europe and in accordance with future regulations that would require all large ships to use shore power to meet their emissions targets.
In 2020, Southampton announced that its new cruise terminal under development with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MSC Cruises would be equipped to provide shore power. The new terminal, due to receive its first cruise ship later this year, will be one of the most environmentally advanced facilities in the industry. It will also have solar panels mounted on the roof.
The British Ports Association recently announced plans to expand its shore power facilities to also include the current Mayflower cruise terminal used by P&O Cruises and other Carnival Corporation ships. Shore power is the next step in an ongoing partnership to enable sustainable cruising from the port of Southampton, according to both organizations.
Previously, ABP made a £ 12million (approximately $ 17million) investment in the port’s ocean terminal to accommodate LNG-fueled P&O cruises. Iona. the Iona made her first arrival in Southampton on May 16 for her christening ceremonies held at the port. the Iona was delivered to P&O at the end of last year by its builder Meyer Werft, but due to the cruise stop it has remained in Europe until now. She is expected to begin her cruise as part of Britain’s domestic cruise restart this summer.
“We are extremely proud to take another important milestone as we further develop our sustainable credentials for cruises with Carnival UK here in Southampton,” said Alastair Welch, Port of Southampton Regional Manager. “This is good news for the port, for the quality of the air and for the future of cruising.”
The BBC noted, however, that the shore power initiative had been delayed and that the port had not always backed the plans. A 2019 report questioned the environmental benefits of shore power, but at the end of 2019 the port said it was moving forward with its first installation as soon as issues were resolved for the infrastructure and investments required. Port manager Alastair Welch told the BBC at the time: “What we don’t want to do is hook up a ship and brown the town.” ABP had committed to implementing shore power by 2020.
The current investment to bring shore power to Southampton’s two terminals has been supported by the HM government’s Local Growth Agreement which provides funding to local business partnerships for projects that benefit the region and to the local economy. Thanks to this, the Solent LEP co-financed the project, which means that an alternative fuel can potentially be offered or supported in each of the port’s dedicated cruise terminals.
“We are delighted to see the advancement of shore power technology and its installation in the Mayflower cruise terminal,” said Simon Palethorpe, President of Carnival UK. “A number of our P&O Cruises and Cunard vessels are already equipped with shore power, and we plan to install this capability across our fleet.”