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ABB's shore-to-ship technology offers sustainable solution for Chinese port of Dalian

China is investing in ABB’s shore-to-ship power solution to enhance reliability of power supply and reduce environmental impact at the Dalian Container Port terminal in the northeast Chinese province of Liaoning

As part of its commitment to lower carbon emissions and contribute to the curtailment of global warming, China has taken a number of initiatives ranging from the large scale integration of renewables into the energy mix to the deployment of advanced technologies that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at ports. The strategic targets behind this development are outlined in the country's current Five-Year Plan and efforts specifically focus on the planning, design and construction of new infrastructure.

An aerial view of a container ship.

Typical container vessel

Given the role of trade in driving economic development, fast growing economies like China rely heavily on global container movement and related port infrastructure. Among the major challenges currently faced by these ports is the development and upgrade of the electrical infrastructure serving them, which needs to be seen in the context of increasing societal and environmental awareness.

These concerns are driving efforts behind the transition to alternative means of supplying electricity to vessels berthed in ports that normally rely on self-generated diesel power.

State Grid of China (SGCC) is China's leading power utility and among the biggest suppliers of electricity in the world. Through initiatives like its Energy Substitution Program, SGCC is seeking alternative solutions like shore-to-ship power to help develop a sustainable business case based on the government's environmental policies.

ABB has been working with Beijing Intelligence Chip Co. Ltd, to provide a proven shore-to-ship power solution to SGCC, as part of the Energy Substitution Program to mitigate the environmental impact of berthed ships on ports and surrounding areas and will be implemented at the Dalian Container Terminal, a strategic hub for global shipping. With traffic of over 10 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2014, Dalian port was ranked fourteen by the World Shipping Council in terms of volume handled by container terminals around the world. This technology provides a reliable supply of high-quality power to container vessels calling at Dalian, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

With ABB's shore-to-ship power solution, vessels are able to plug into onshore power supply and shut down their engines, eliminating carbon emissions as well as noise and vibrations while berthed in port. The technology ensures a seamless switch from on-board generation to shoreside power supply, without disruption of services including lighting, heating and refrigeration. In addition to these environmental and societal benefits, income from the electricity supplied to the ships helps provide a fast return on investment to finance the development of the power infrastructure.

Most of the container vessels in operation today are equipped with an on-board electrical system operating at 60 Hertz (Hz) frequency whereas the local grid in China is 50 Hz. The shore-to-ship power system converts the grid electricity to the appropriate load frequency and voltage level, thus allowing seamless connection to the onboard electrical system.

PCS100 SFC - Static Frequency Converter

PCS 100 static frequency converter

ABB has recently completed the first phase of the project for Dalian and the solution. Key supplies include two sets of PCS 100 Static Frequency Converters rated at 2 and 3 MVA (megavolt-ampere) respectively, power transformers, 50 and 60 Hz medium-voltage switchgear, as well as the control and protection equipment.

The scope of supply also includes shore connection boxes, which will be supplied by global engineering group Cavotec - a leading supplier of Alternative Marine Power (AMP) interface equipment and ABB's partner for complete shore-to-ship power solutions.

ABB is responsible for the design, engineering, installation, commissioning and overall project management.

By investing in this green power solution, Dalian port will not only derive short-term gains but also several long-term benefits, especially when it comes to more sustainable and reliable power supply. Local communities as well as ship-owners will benefit from the solution, which reduces environmental impact, required maintenance intervals and costs. With its size, and strategic location for major international shipping routes, Dalian is showing the way towards greener ports by deploying this state-of-the-art shore-to-ship power technology solution.


PCS100 SFC - Static Frequency Converter
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Port electrification and shore-to-ship power