First shore-side power station

First cruise ships, now container ships: the first shore-side power stations for box carriers are being built at HHLA’s Buchardkai and Tollerort terminals in the Port of Hamburg. Starting in 2023, they will deliver green electricity from the public grid to ships in an initial test phase.

As owner of the quaysides at the Port of Hamburg, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) commissioned Siemens AG to construct the corresponding systems. The use of shoreside electricity substantially reduces the emissions of a docked ship. As soon as the electricity is connected, the diesel generators usually used for power on board can be switched off. This reduces not only air pollution and greenhouse gases, but also reduces noise emissions to a minimum.

The project is one of numerous measures to implement the City of Hamburg's Clean Air Plan from 2025.

Shore-side power stations are an effective and sensible solution for emissions-free layovers. They eliminate the emission of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, soot particles and greenhouse gases while ships are docked. Their workings are technically complex – it is not enough to use a long, thick cable and two plugs; large container ships require as much power as a small city.

Background: in international seaborne transport, approximately 75 percent of all ships are equipped with 60 hertz on-board power systems. Yet only a quarter of all countries’ electrical grids operate on this frequency: Germany, for example, uses 50 hertz. This means the land frequency and on-board frequency must be adapted – a complex undertaking that requires a high degree of safety.


The first shore-side power station for cruise ships in Europe began operations at the Cruise Center Altona in 2016. Now the first shore-side power stations are also being built at the container terminals in the Port of Hamburg.

The construction of shore-side power stations by the HPA is another key step in the decarbonisation of the port and logistics chains. This will also improve the city’s air quality in the longer term.

Sustainability strategy Balanced Logistics

It is our aspiration to combine ecological, social and economic interests in order to make our company future-proof. We underline this with our "Balanced Logistics" sustainability strategy.

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