Shore-to-Ship project advances to trial phase on cruise liners

Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia - Shore-to-Ship

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 November, 2023 at 1:05 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Shore-to-Ship project is currently in a pivotal testing stage, and has now moved to trials conducted on cruise liners, the government said.

This notable advancement seeks to enable the cessation of ship engines upon arrival at the Grand Harbour, leading to a smooth transition to electric power, it added.

Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia – Shore-to-Ship

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia, and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett were present for a test that was carried out on a cruise liner.

This phase follows the continuous progress of the infrastructural project throughout the year, positioning the Grand Harbour at the forefront of European innovation by introducing a shore-based electricity system for passenger ships, port wide.

Infrastructure Malta has implemented this system at all five primary passenger cruise quays: three at Xatt ta’ Pinto in Floriana, one at l-Għassar tal-Għeneb (Deep Water Quay) at Marsa, and the other one at Boiler Wharf, Senglea, the government said. Upon completion, this initiative will enable ships to disengage their gas or heavy fuel oil engines, connecting instead to the onshore electricity supply. This connection serves to operate the necessary machinery for the provision of services while the cruise liners are stationed in the port.

Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia – Shore-to-Ship

This environmental investment will be cutting 90% of air pollution by cruise liners at the Grand Harbour. Through this investment, Infrastructure Malta will provide cleaner air for the 17,000 families residing around the Grand Harbour area.

A 2015 European study estimates that each passenger ship spending eight hours docked in the port emits 1.2 tonnes of nitrogen oxide. To put this into perspective, it is equivalent to the emissions from 300,000 cars driving from Ċirkewwa to Marsaxlokk simultaneously. Additionally, these ships release 30 kilograms of particulate matter emissions (fine dust in the air), mirroring the emissions from 180,000 vehicles travelling the entire length of Malta from top to bottom.

“This significant investment will provide the much-needed relief to families in the area, who have long endured the detrimental effects of pollution emitted from cruise ships. It clearly shows the Government’s commitment to strengthen the maritime sector, and not have the country’s economic growth at the expense of the people’s health,” Minister Farrugia said.

Parliamentary Secretary Bonett emphasised on how important it is for Malta, together with the European Union, to work towards achieving its goals for sustainability and carbon neutrality. Through the use of European Funds, the government is supporting investments in areas such as clean energy technologies, and emission reductions while allowing for various investments in projects such as the shore to ship, focusing on clean energy use in ports.

“This Government’s plan towards Malta’s transition to a climate-neutral economy has been ongoing for many years and is particularly evident in the development registered in the last decade in the energy sector,” Bonett said.

Infrastructure Malta CEO Ivan Falzon was also present for this visit.

The project is co-financed by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.

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