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World-unique Shore Power Connection on Tern Fors

16 Nov 2023
On Tuesday, a globally unique connection of the product tanker Tern Fors to shore power was carried out in Gävle harbor. The vessel was connected for over three hours and, for the first time, conducted an unloading operation using shore side electricity as the power source.

Years of preparation from both the port and Terntank culminated in a central and globally unique milestone on Tuesday when Tern Fors connected to the newly built shore power connection in Gävle harbor. The vessel was connected for three hours and carried out an unloading operation, the most energy-consuming operation for a tanker, as the vessel's own pumps had to be operated. A total of 1,424 kWh was consumed during the operation.

"It was a completely magical feeling at the moment when we switched to shore power. It felt like we were experiencing something groundbreaking," says Robert Friborg, the chief engineer on board Tern Fors.

A large project that started in Gothenburg

Shore power for tankers is only available in one port in the USA for regular traffic, nowhere else in the world. Connecting tankers to shore power is complex due to a permanent risk of explosions when a tanker is docked in energy ports, as flammable products are pumped that can easily be ignited by electrical equipment. Gothenburg Port leads the Green Cable project with the aim of developing a new global standard for the electrical connection of tankers at the dock in a hazardous environment, together with classification societies, oil companies, shipping companies, the Swedish Transport Agency, and Gävle Port. From left, student Anton Strömblad, captain Lennart Knutsson, chief engineer Robert Friborg, and first engineer Daniel Karlsson: Photo by Terntank

Solving challenges along the way

During the connection, the crew on board Tern Fors had direct contact with technicians from subcontractors in both Norway and China, while Gävle port had its electricians on site. "We did encounter some challenges during the day, but we solved the issues that arose, made some adjustments, and then it went as planned," says Lennart Knutsson, the captain on board. Tern Fors tested the connection in Gävle in February of this year, but without connecting the power. Since then, various improvements and adjustments have been made, both to the onshore facility and on board.

"Now everything fell into place, and we were unloading completely without any auxiliary machines connected. If anything were to happen to the connection, we have batteries that kick in, ensuring that there is never a blackout on board," says Lennart Knutsson.

Evaluations are now awaited

The vessel connects the cable amidships. The connection points, both on board and ashore, are in specially adapted environments. On the dock, the cable is in a container with overpressure with air to prevent any gases from entering. The small connection house on board the vessel is then filled with nitrogen to ensure it is under 5 percent oxygen so that nothing can explode if a spark occurs.

Evaluations are now awaited from both the port and the shipping company before Tern Fors, and also the sister vessel Tern Island, can connect next time.

"The next time we do it, it will probably go much smoother; now we know more about how the connection should be made and that it works as intended. Next time, it will likely be much quicker," says Lennart Knutsson


Nov 2023

Steel cutting 2/3 – Hybrid Solution Plus Series

15 Nov 2023
The second steel cut of the three wind and methanol powered 15,000 dwt hybrid tankers took place at the China Merchants Jinling shipyard on Wednesday, November 15th.

The Hybrid Solution Plus series goes beyond current legestration and meeting the 2040 targets decades before. The new vessels will significantly reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impacts with methanol-powered engines, wind-assisted propulsion, hybrid battery system, and on-shore power. The Hybrid Solution Plus vessels will be developed from the experience of the previous six Avic Series vessels with additional innovative improvements to reduce environmental impacts. In addition to the 40 percent of CO2 reductions, we made on previous vessels the wind assistance will further reduce the emissions by 8 percent, and with methanol’s low-carbon and potential in decarbonization, we accelerate our pathway to net zero. The vessels are built with 14 segerations and are tailor made to optimally be able to transport bio feedstocks to our customer’s refineries and load the finished goods to our customers' depots. The first of vessel will be delivered in March 2025.

By adding sails and operation with methanol to further reduce emissions and thus successfully meet current and future requirements in the EU and IMO and our Net Zero by 2040 target. – Tryggve Möller, Owner, Terntank.

The Hybrid Solution Plus series represents a game-changing shift towards sustainability in the maritime industry, showcasing innovation and a resolute commitment to a cleaner future.

Nov 2023