Shore power

Shore power is a technology that enables ships fitted with the necessary equipment to shut down diesel powered auxiliary engines and plug into land-based electrical power. This significantly reduces emissions of pollutants that degrade air quality and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. It also reduces engine noise.

Shore power is not one-size-fits-all system. There are a number of conditions that affect whether a ship can plug in, including availability of terminal facilities, configuration of a terminal’s shore power equipment, the location and limitations of the ship’s shore power equipment, and the availability of power from BC Hydro.

We are continuing to take the lead to make shore power connections available at Port of Vancouver marine terminals, and offering incentives to shipping lines to use shore power such as discounts on harbour dues for shore-power enabled vessels. Provided the demand for shore power continues to increase, shore power facilities at terminals will be phased in over a number of years.

Shore power for cruise ships

In 2009, the Canada Place cruise ship terminal became the first in Canada and third in the world to offer shore power for cruise ships. In 2013, we installed an additional jib, or connection point, to further facilitate connections.

Since 2009, shore power installations at the Port of Vancouver cruise ship terminal have eliminated 582 tonnes of air pollutants and 20,757 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Reductions in air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions*
Fuel savings 16.0 tonnes
Net greenhouse gas emission reductions (CO2e) 50.6 tonnes
Criteria air contaminants reduced** 1.1 tonnes

* Per call through the use of shore power at Port of Vancouver cruise ship terminal, estimates based on a 110,000 Gross Registered Tonne (GRT) ship, Tier II engine, at berth for 10 hours.

** Criteria air contaminants include sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.

Shore power for container ships

Shore power is also available for container ships at the Centerm container terminal and at Deltaport, Canada’s largest container terminal.

Anticipated reductions in air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions*
Fuel savings 30.7 tonnes
Net greenhouse gas emission reductions (CO2e) 94.6 tonnes
Criteria air contaminants reduced** 1.4 tonnes

* Per call through the use of shore power at Port of Vancouver container terminals, estimates based on a 8,500 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) ship, Tier II engine, at berth for 60 hours.

** Criteria air contaminants include sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.

Learn more about shore power for container ships at the Port of Vancouver.