Montrose Becomes First Port in Scotland to Provide Shore Power for Vessels

May 3, 2024

(Photo: Montrose Port Authority)
(Photo: Montrose Port Authority)

Montrose Port Authority (MPA) has become the first port in Scotland to provide a shore power service for offshore energy supply vessels in a move to reduce emissions, noise pollution and fuel consumption.

A 50/50 self-funded joint venture, Plug Montrose is the result of a £1 million investment and collaboration between Montrose Port Authority and Plug Shore Power Ltd, the UK-based branch of leading Norwegian shore power and maritime charging company, Plug AS.

Shore power provides vessels with the option to shut down their engines and connect to the grid while berthed in port. This eliminates the need for ships to run their engines to power onboard systems, thereby reducing emissions, fuel consumption and noise pollution during port stays.

According to the Department of Transport’s 2022 call for evidence on shore power, approximately 70-90% of port emissions are generated by vessels, with emissions from vessels at berth being notably higher (72%) than those from maneuvering vessels (16%).

Montrose Port Authority’s decision to invest in shore power stems from its commitment to reducing scope 3 emissions to meet its aim of becoming Scotland’s first carbon-neutral port as well as the demand for the service from regularly visiting vessels accustomed to such facilities in ports outside the UK, most notably in Norway.

The shore power facility is now operational on berths 1 and 2 at Montrose Port, following an upgrade to the port’s substation and quayside infrastructure carried out by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN). The inaugural connection to the facility during the testing phase was made by the Norwegian vessel, Magne Viking, from Viking Supply Ships. 

Captain Tom Hutchison, Chief Executive of Montrose Port Authority, said, “By embracing innovative solutions like shore power, we are not only reducing our environmental footprint but also positioning Montrose Port as a leader in sustainable port operations.

“With the service now live and our ability to track emission reduction through Plug’s bespoke administration system, we are excited about the potential of expanding this facility to all berths at our port.”

Chief Executive Officer of Plug, Maria Bos, said, “We eagerly anticipate the positive impact this facility will have on the environment and for the town of Montrose. We are excited to track the usage and witness the tangible benefits it brings, reaffirming our commitment to sustainability and innovation in the maritime sector.”

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