Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, is one of the world’s great trading hubs. Situated at a major confluence of road, rail, sea and inland waterway trading routes, the city’s port, covering an area of 105 square km and stretching over 40 km in length, is the busiest in Europe and handles more freight than almost any other facility outside of China.This success comes with a cost: the barges, ships, trains and trucks that all pass through this vital trading hub are a significant source of emissions, contributing to higher concentrations of NOx and particulate matter in the air.GE Energy (NYSE: GE) has been working on a program to reduce emissions and costs for one sector of Rotterdam’s transport infrastructure, the giant inland barges that ply Europe’s great waterways and which load and unload cargo in Rotterdam. 130,000 such vessels visit the port every year.
An ongoing issue in ports and harbors around the world is that of boats and ships running their auxiliary engines while at dock. In a port the size of Rotterdam, situated near the city, this is a significant issue.The onshore power supply project being realized by GE Energy at the Port of Rotterdam, provides vessels with safe, reliable and metered onshore power and reduces emissions and noise for people who live and work in or near the port area. Onshore power supply for inland shipping is a valid alternative to running engines to provide on-board power while at dock.In a pilot project, 120 onshore power connections have been installed in the Maashaven area of the Port, supplied from 22 “harbor enclosures” custom made to provide secure power supplies in the busy dockside locations.In addition to the components and circuits necessary to ensure secure and safe power supplies, the stainless steel enclosures are equipped with meters, which can be read remotely, allowing users to monitor their energy costs in real time and encouraging efficient energy use.
Ultimately, the Port wants to encourage all vessels to use onshore connections as their main or sole source of power while at dock. When completed, the onshore power supply project will provide connections for up to 5,000 boats, supplied from approximately 800 dockside cabinets."Onshore power is a cleaner and more efficient option than running engines or diesel generators. However, bringing power on board vessels in one of the busiest ports in the world presents a significant challenge and one that we have worked closely with the Port authorities to meet,” said Todd Johnstone, chief executive officer of GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “We have drawn on decades of experience in outdoor power distribution and metering, together with our new highly efficient technology to design and install the infrastructure necessary to bring power on board vessels in dock.”