The LoCOPS project is now officially started and the initial work in relation to specifications is in progress. In LoCOPS Ph 2 project, we aim to demonstrate our technology in operational environment, at the Copen-hagen Malmö Port, one of the largest Northern European cruise-ship ports) to prove that our technology will result in a positive business case for ports.
PowerCon aims to pursue a major market opportunity by demonstrating and further commercializing a competitive Onshore Power Supply (OPS), to provide electricity for large sea-going vessels when at quayside in port. The OPS system not only reduces the consumption of fuel and the associated air pollution but also eliminates acoustic noise and vibrations from the running engines.
The structures behind the unfavourable operational and capital expenses have been hindering the deployment of OPS. Today’s high operational expenses are due to a tax disadvantage on shore side electricity compared with tax-free bunker fuel available for ships. Because of this, the European Commission in 2007 opened up for exemptions from energy taxes for onshore power and some European countries (e.g. Denmark, Sweden and Germany) can now provide shore side electricity at reduced rate. The high capital expenses are seen as a consequence of the low competition and relatively few capable suppliers on the market causing a high bargaining power of the suppliers.
Comparable trends have been seen within the wind power segment in the past where, over time, the total cost of wind turbines has been lowered with great success to compete with fossil fuels. Danish SME PowerCon (PC) have for the last 7 years been part of this success, by adding significant savings into the wind power industry with competitive power solutions. More specifically, we have developed and are successfully commercializing a frequency converter for wind turbines, which is up to 50% cheaper than competing solutions. Now, we aim at bringing the same savings for the maritime sector by introducing a low cost OPS for ships, based on the technology we developed for wind turbines.
The project has reach the first 12 months, and the overall progress is going as planned.
Despite that this is not an ideal situation and required additional work, the project decided to look for an alternative end-user that could step in as end user with short notice and with similar possibilities in terms of ships entering the port and the likelihood of these ships to connect to electricity on land.
The projects end-user has the roll of providing the location and opportunities for the test and validation of the Onshore Power System.
In relation to On-Shore Power projects in Europe, and in general the transaction in the transport sector from fossil power to electricity power, Norway is very much in front in terms of providing initiatives for the maritime industry to use Shore Power. Norway are very focused about the environmental effects of the marine sector including the cruise industry and are discussing whether they by regulation can provide more pressure on the shipping industry to convert for more environmental friendly methods.
At this stage the project still expects to keep the overall time schedule with a finished project end of 2018
The port of Kristiansand is ready to step in as end-user and have the required infrastructure in place. The Port was destination of 62 cruise ships in 2016 and saw a 100 percent growth from 2012 until 2016. The presence of cruise ships in the whole season combined with the Norwegian political appeal and encouragement to the maritime transport sector of using On-shore Power, seems to be a perfect match to use Kristiansand port as end-user for the LoCOPS project.