MSC Containerships to Utilize Shore Power in Hamburg as Port Expands Capacity

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A month after Hamburg inaugurated its shore power capability for containerships, the port authority has announced a landmark agreement with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. MSC will begin using shore power for its container vessels, making it the first shipping line to use shore power for both cruise ships and containerships in the port.

Hamburg has been developing its shore power capabilities for over two years. The Hamburg Container Terminal (CTH), operated by Eurogate, was the first major terminal to be equipped with this capability. It was successfully tested earlier this year and inaugurated with a CMA CGM containership in May. Hamburg now boasts the distinction of being the first large port in Europe capable of providing shore power for containerships.

The shore power plant at CTH features three connection points, each delivering an output of 7.5 megavolt amperes, with electricity sourced entirely from renewables. The facility can handle three mega-ships simultaneously using shore power.

The project was financed roughly equally by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the federal government, with a total cost of approximately $14 million.

“After we signed a joint letter of intent with MSC Cruises in June last year to use shore power in the Port of Hamburg, I am delighted that MSC now wants to work with us to make shipping and port operations more environmentally friendly by using shore power for container ships in the Port of Hamburg,” said Friedrich Stuhrmann, Chief Commercial Officer of HPA.

The port continues to expand its capabilities and is in discussions with more shipping lines. Other container terminals in Hamburg are also being equipped with shore power systems.

In April 2024, a new shore power system for cruise ships began operation at the Cruise Center Steinwerder. In addition to MSC, Carnival Corp. (including Princess Cruises), as well as TUI Cruises, Fred. Olsen, Phoenix Reisen, and Norwegian Cruise Line have committed to using shore power.

Furthermore, the port is developing a new cruise terminal in HafenCity, which is currently under construction and will be outfitted with shore power when it opens in 2025.

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