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Electrification of Norwegian ports


Ports of Nordfjord, Vågan and Harstad



United Nations sustainable development goal number 9 - industry, innovation and infrastructure
We are working on establishing the electrification of Vågan Port Authority, to be completed in 2023. This will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from coastal shipping routes and port operations. This is an important step in reducing emissions from shipping and also in meeting the climate targets for Svolvær Municipality. – Ole Osland, director of Vågan Port Authority.

Shipping accounts for an estimated 80 per cent of global trade. As roads and highways fill up with heavy goods vehicles, Norwegian policymakers are increasingly looking to shift transportation to sea. Norway has long tradition of sea faring and shipping and its long coastline hosts a number of ports. As ships load and unload their cargo at ports they use onboard engines to run necessary functions, from power to cranes. Burning engine fuel causes emissions, both in terms of CO2 and particle emissions that deteriorate local air quality.

Electrification of ports is an efficient means of reducing emissions from ships by substituting fossil fuel powered engines with renewable electricity. Supplying electrification solutions at ports implies large investments and in the cases of the ports of Nordfjord, Vågan and Harstad, these investments were too large for the port authorities to carry. Sweco’s solution included mapping the market potential for ships using plug-in electricity at port, assessing local grid capacity, technical solutions and applying to Enova SF (entity of Ministry of Climate and Environment) for financial investment aid for alle three ports. Sweco succeed in collecting public financial investment support for alle three ports.

With the necessary financing in place, investments in electrification solutions at the ports of Nordfjord, Vågan and Harstad will be completed by 2023, saving an estimated 1,500+ tonnes CO2 annually.

Ports are critical in the transformation to a green economy. They are important logistical centres and also represent urban development zones. Building infrastructure for shore power and charging in ports reduces emissions, but it is also key in facilitating the maritime transformation ahead. The ports of Nordfjord, Vågan and Harstad exemplify that change can be made now. –  Tobias Grande Hansen, energy technology consultant at Sweco in Trondheim.