Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Canadian container port deploys ABB shore-to-ship smart energy system

Steve Rogerson
September 12, 2017



Canada’s largest container port is deploying smart energy technology so that docked ships can be powered direct from the mains rather than running their diesel engines, thus reducing pollution.
 
The technology comes from Swiss company ABB, which is providing the technology to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for the Deltaport container terminal.
 
Power will be supplied from shore to the global container terminal, Canada’s largest container port, located in Delta, British Columbia. It is designed to handle trans-Pacific container vessels. The project is part of a joint commitment by the federal government and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to reduce environmental impact.
 
The Deltaport terminal is spread over one square kilometre, with three berths across 1100m. ABB’s shore to ship technology will let ships connect to the electrical grid of Canadian utility BC Hydro instead of using diesel generators. ABB will provide the design, engineering and supply of technologies such as the high voltage shore connection system, with protection, control and communications capabilities.
 
The ability to shut down ship engines at the port will curtail polluting substances such as nitrogen and sulphur oxides (NOx and SOx), and will also mitigate noise and vibration levels, to support the terminal’s sustainability goals. By plugging in to the grid when berthed and shutting down their engines, vessels will not only help reduce the port’s environmental impact, but will also become eligible for discounted power supply, as a acknowledgement of their voluntary emission reduction measures.
 
“We are pleased to deploy ABB’s shore-to-ship power technology to support Vancouver’s environmental efforts at Canada’s largest port and busiest container terminal,” said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s grid integration business. “This innovative, energy-efficient solution will not only benefit the port authority and the city but also ship owners and local residents. It reiterates ABB’s focus on creating customer value and lowering environmental impact.”
 
A large cruise vessel running its auxiliary engines on diesel, to power its loads while in port, emits the equivalent amount of NOx as 10,000 cars driving from Zurich to London, in eight hours. ABB’s technology to power ships with electricity supplied from shore includes special substations that can cater to both 50 and 60Hz vessels from different parts of the world, together with on-board connections and automation panels. This enables ships to shut down their engines while berthed and plug in to an onshore power source, without disrupting on-board services.
 
This technology can eliminate 98 per cent of emissions as well as the noise and vibrations, making it possible to have ports in the middle of cities and people can enjoy living right on the water’s edge. And from the ship owner’s perspective, it reduces maintenance and operating costs.
 
ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.