Kiel ends most successful cruise shipping season. The port to provide emission-free berthing for ships during port stay

Ostseekai Cruise Terminal at the Port of KielKiel closes its latest cruise shipping season on Sunday October 28th with the visit of the “AIDAbella”. This year the port has been visited 166 times by 33 different cruise ships with a combined gross tonnage of more than 11 million.

For the first time close to 600,000 cruise ship passengers, 16.4% more than last year, have passed through the port’s terminal facilities to end or embark on cruises. Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the PORT OF KIEL (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) declared: “We have posted a good result and continue to invest in the expansion of our infrastructures for passenger and baggage handling as well as in the protection of the environment.”

Already this season a new hall for baggage handling has been completed in the Ostuferhafen and work is now in full swing at the Ostseekai Terminal on the construction of a second passenger handling terminal. Kiel has set itself an ambitious time-table and will take the new nine million Euro terminal building into operation as early as 2019.

Following that, construction will begin on the first DIN-certified, shore-based power supply facility for cruise ships. The investment, totalling more than 20 million Euros overall, will further increase the attractiveness of the Port of Kiel. “We will continue to grow”, said Dirk Claus.”Cruises in northern Europe are in much demand and always attract top passenger numbers.”

The 2018 cruise shipping season in Kiel was marked by numerous highlights. One of them was the visit of TUI Cruises’ latest new building the “Mein Schiff 1”, which visited the fiord and ended her maiden voyage at the Ostseekai Terminal. The biggest ship to call was the 139,000 GT “MSC Preziosa”, which undertook 20 Baltic and Nordic cruises from Kiel.

The Fiord’s most frequent visitors were the ships of AIDA Cruises, five of which were based in Kiel for the first time. Unique to date were this season’s nine maiden visits – seven of them by ships which were visiting Kiel as part of ongoing cruises.

Dirk Claus said: “In addition to its function as a base port, Kiel is also being increasingly utilised as a stepping off point for day trips ashore. International cruise ship travellers have this year discovered Schleswig-Holstein as a holiday destination.”

Among visitors to Kiel have been the shipping companies Cunard, Fred. Olsen, Holland America Line, Ponant, P&O and Saga, as well as new customers Pullmantur and Viking Ocean Cruises. From a port operations point of view, attention was focussed particularly on the twelve occasions when three, sometimes even more, ocean-going cruise ships were berthed in the port in additiion to the regular Baltic ferries.

The high point of the season was on August 11th when five ocean-going ships – “AIDAaura”, “AIDAluna”, “Astor”, “Costa Pacifica” and the “MSC Preziosa” – all berthed.

As far as the coming season is concerned, further growth in the size of ships is expected. AIDA Cruises’ 124,000 GT “AIDAprima” will be stationed in Kiel and can now be supplied with environmentally friendly LNG fuel during her berth time. An even bigger ship is the 171,600 GT “MSC Meraviglia” which has accommodation for up to 5,700 passengers and will set a new tonnage record for Kiel.

“We are entering a new dimension as far as size is concerned”, said Dirk Claus “and we will expand our position as the leading turn-around port on the German Baltic coast”.

Next year’s season will be inaugurated on March 31st by the “Viking Sky”. The most frequent callers will once again be the ships of AIDA, TUI Cruises, MSC and Costa – with the latter’s “Costa Pacifica” doubling the number of cruises from Kiel. New to Kiel among others will be the “Nieuw Statendam” of Holland America Line. The complete list of callers in 2019 will be published by the PORT OF KIEL at the turn of the year.

First cut of the spade ceremony for Norwegenkai’s onshore power supply plant

The construction of the first onshore power supply plant for commercial vessels in the port of Kiel has begun. Taking part in the official first-cut-of-the-spade-ceremony marking the start of the construction works at the Norwegenkai Terminal were the Economics Minister of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Dr Bernd Buchholz, Kiel’s Lord Mayor Dr Ulf Kämpfer, Port Director Dr Dirk Claus und Color Line GmbH Managing Director Dirk Hundertmark along with Lars Nürnberger, head of Kiel’s Siemens AG branch office.

As of spring 2019, it will be possible to supply big cruise ferries with all the electrical power they need during the time they are berthed in Kiel. “We are taking action to make a substantial contribution to air purification”, said Minister Buchholz. “The use of onshore power supply sustainably reduces ship emissions during time spent in port. We support this trend-setting project and beyond that advocate at government level to improve the overall economic conditions for the use of onshore power.”

The onshore power supply plant for the Norwegenkai is part of the BLUE PORT concept, in which further facilities of this kind are already being planned for Kiel. Dirk Claus said: “Upon completion of the Norwegenkai onshore power plant, the Schwedenkai Terminal and the Cruise Shipping Terminal Ostseekai will also be equipped with onshore power supply facilities by 2020. It is our intention to provide half of all ship calls in Kiel with onshore power in future. Doing so means that we are setting a new European standard.”

The overall project owner for the Norwegenkai facility, which is being built by Siemens AG, is the PORT OF KIEL. Total investment costs amount to 1.3 million Euros. As part of the first-cut-of-the-spade ceremony, Minister Buchholz handed a state funding notification over to Kiel’s Lord Mayor. Ulf Kämpfer said “With this onshore power supply plant we will reduce the levels of nitrous oxides and particle matters being emitted in the port area.

In addition, less carbon dioxide will be emitted, which supports our climate protection policies.” The ships of the Norwegian shipping company Color Line, the “Color Fantasy” and “Color Magic”, provide a daily link between Kiel and Oslo. Ships arrive at the Norwegenkai every morning at 10.00 and leave at 14.00. Annual power consumption during berthing times amounts to around four million kilowatt hours.

Color Line GmbH Managing Director Dirk Hundertmark said: “Our ships are equipped to take onshore power and have been connected to onshore power supply in Oslo since 2011 and in all our four Norwegian ports since 2017. Now Kiel is becoming the next port to provide the necessary infrastructure to further advance and support our strategy of environmental protection.”

The Norwegenkai onshore power supply plant has a maximum power rating of 4.5 Megawatts (MW) at 10 Kilovolt (KV) and a network frequency of 50 Hertz (Hz). Lars Nürnberger, head of Kiel’s Siemens AG branch office, said: “The plant is tailored to the needs of the port and the shipping company. As a result of its high power rating in combination with a daily operation, a high environmental benefit can be achieved.

In future, emissions on site will equal zero. The core components of the plant are the land-to-ship power transfer station (PLUG), manufactured by the firm called NG3, alongside the air-insulated, metal-clad, medium voltage switchboard. The PLUG power transfer station is equipped with a programmable controller (PLC) which communicates with the medium voltage switchboard located in the onshore power supply station. All the required switching procedures communicated by the ship via the interface are carried out automatically. Prior to power transfer from shore to ship taking place, the system checks the functionality of all plug and cable connections. Once completed, the onshore power connection is switched on. The ship synchronises itself with the onshore power plant which replaces the on-board power supply.

(Port of Kiel)