Cruise industry urged to take broad focus on emissions

Investments in cold ironing are huge compared with the results, and efforts to reduce emissions from cruise ships should have a much broader focus, naval architect Robert Segercrantz told delegates at a Cruise Gateway.

The estimated cost for a port to build cold ironing facilities is €7 million to €10 million. The cost for the ship is between €300,000 and €500,000 – and, in addition, the smaller cruise ships need to employ high voltage experts that are a highly risk-paid profession, he said.

Given that the main reason to use cold ironing is to prevent pollution while at port, it should be stressed that cruise ships actually use more energy while at sea (87%) than while in port (13%), said Mr Segercrantz. “So if we really want to tackle pollution issues, we should concentrate on better sources of energy overall for the ship.”

He discussed options including LNG, hybrid and low-sulphur fuel, and asked the question: will there be enough 0.1% sulphur fuel to satisfy demand once the 2015 SECA regulations are in place?

Mr Segercrantz, a director at Deltamarin, presented his cold ironing study during an ‘Energy Efficient Terminal’ workshop organised as part of the EU Cruise Gateway North Sea project and hosted by Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP), a partner in Cruise Gateway.

Looking at cold ironing for cruise ships specifically, he explained the varying requirements of vessels depending on age and size/passenger capacity.

The average cruise ship in the North Sea Region carries between 2,000 and 2,500 passengers but Mr Segercrantz recommended that ports planning to install cold ironing facilities should consider maximum voltage to allow for larger ships, using transformers and inverters for frequency (50hz in the EU, 60hz in the US). However, fewer than 10% of cruise ships are equipped with cold ironing capability, he said.

He identified a series of ‘threats’ to cold ironing operations: too loose standardisation of port equipment; high investment costs at the port; too few ports joining the ‘pool’; commercial uncertainties; high investment costs on existing ships; alternative environmentally friendly technologies; and the fact that even on newbuildings, the provision of cold ironing capability is sometimes only ranked ‘nice to have’.

Also at the workshop, CMP’s head of construction, Peter Landgren, outlined details of Copenhagen’s new cruise terminal, which has been designed with a special focus on energy efficiency and environmental solutions. The terminal will provide a new 1,100 metre long, 70 metre wide pier by next year; three separate terminal buildings will be added in 2014, each 3,300 square metres with separate check-in, luggage and parking areas.

The terminal buildings will be built with green roofs to provide insulation from both cold and heat and absorb much of the rain, relieving the drainage system, solar energy panels, a sustainable indoor climate solution, translucent building elements of polycarbonate, roof windows minimising electricity consumption, and a special surface for preventing solar overheating.

The quay will be equipped with waste water reception facilities including elaborate systems to prevent smells, cleaned by rain water. The quay will be built with channels for possible future cold ironing options.

Copenhagen Malmö Port is the busiest cruise port in the Baltic. Cruise turnrounds grew from 50 ships and 150,000 passengers in 1999 to 171 ships and 820,000 passengers in 2011; in the same period, day calls grew from 163 368 in 2011. On its busiest days, the port – which currently has 12 cruise ship berths – will handle up to 23,000 passengers and 8,000 crew.

A survey carried out last year and focusing on Copenhagen revealed that cruise passengers and crew calling at the port spent an estimated €71.8 million in Copenhagen and the surrounding region, generating an estimated 975 direct jobs.

Arnt Møller Pedersen, cruise and ferries COO at CMP, said these results reflected the hard work by every member of the Cruise Copenhagen Network, and strongly recommended that other ports and destinations should create similar associations.

Reporting on the workshop overall, he said: “The presentations were very educational and the discussions positive and constructive. In addition, the members and delegates had ample opportunity to network and discuss other topics amongst themselves.”