Energy is greener at the Port of Montreal :
the case of the MS Veendam

By connecting cruise ships to Hydro-Québec’s power grid, the Port of Montreal is contributing to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

On July 29, the Veendam was the first ship to connect to shore power at the Port of Montreal.

The recently ended 2017 cruise season broke all visitor records, with some 114,500 cruise passengers and crew members arriving in Montreal.

The Port of Montreal has another type of record to its credit, and it’s just as big a deal. This year, cruise ships berthed at the new Cruise Terminal were able to connect to a new hydroelectric power station installed by the Port of Montreal and its partners. This is a great way to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The project works, which were completed in 2016 and 2017, led to the very first successfully completed connection to Holland America Line’s the Veendam. You can view the video of the second connection, made on August 12, here.

This mega power outlet was installed with the collaboration of Schneider Electric Canada and Hydro Québec. “It’s a bit more complicated than a household plug! We had excellent collaboration from everybody involved in the project!” said Peter Manolov, Supervisor Infrastructure Management, Electrical Network at the Port of Montreal. Three people carry out the operation to connect the ship and it takes them about an hour.

If not connected, these huge liners carrying up to 2,500 passengers must rely on their own diesel generator, an energy source that emits greenhouse gases, to provide electrical power aboard ship. That means that when docked, engines and other ship equipment must keep running to supply the kitchens, cabins, swimming pools and air conditioning to meet passengers’ needs.

The power consumption of a cruise ship is huge. It is estimated that the energy requirement is equivalent to powering a town of about 2,500 houses or dwellings.

From now on, ships will not have to use their own on-board generator when docked. They will be able to hook up to the power grid connected to an electrical substation installed at the Cruise Terminal.

Hooking up a vessel is a bit more complicated than plugging in a toaster !

The total project cost was $11 million. The government of Canada is contributing up to $5 million under its Shore Power Technology for Ports Program. The government of Quebec contributed $3 million under its program to improve marine, air and rail transportation efficiency to reduce GHG emissions (PETMAF en matière de réduction des émissions de GES). The MPA, for its part, contributed $3 million to the project.

Annual reduction of 2,800 tonnes of GHG emissions

The benefits of this initiative are immediate for the port environment, for cruise passengers, for our neighbours and for Montrealers: less noise and an annual reduction of up to 2,800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, including the four electrical hook-ups for wintering vessels that have also been deployed! Wintering vessels are vessels that spend the winter docked at a berth in the port and which, even though they are hibernating, need a minimum amount of heating. 

Transport Canada’s Pollution Prevention Guidelines state that “cruise ships should adopt the best practical technology to achieve the lowest emissions possible.”