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How can the pollution from ships’ diesel motors in ports be reduced? Quayside electrical connections are emerging as a promising solution. With help from Actemium, two ports in the ADNOC will soon be equipped with a connection system for ships moored at quayside.


This is a first for the United Arab Emirates. In November 2022, the Mussafah logistics base and the Ruwais industrial harbour in Abu Dhabi will each be fitted with several installations providing quayside electrical connections for a total of 64 ships.

A year ago, ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) launched a call for tenders with the aim of providing its own vessels with electrical connections to its own port facilities. The contract was won by Actemium Emirates Projects, a VINCI Energies business unit established in the country forty years ago, and whose teams have been working for 12 months on the detailed design, procurement, integration and commissioning of quayside power containers.

Actemium Emirates Projects recently completed the engineering phase. Materials have been purchased, including the containers (see inset) manufactured in India. At the end of June, the business unit will receive the electrical equipment from its suppliers in Germany, Italy and France.

“Once connected to the land-based network, vessels can stop their engines but carry on with their usual in-port activities.”

Ports account for a significant protion of the maritime sector pollution. That is why port authorities, shipowners, shipbuilders and naval outfitters are taking a keen interest in quayside power technologies, which are already widespread in France, Sweden, Norway, the United States and parts of Asia.

“The goal is clearly environmental – to limit polluting emissions as well as noise disturbance linked to engine vibrations”, explains Khaldoun Anastas, Business Unit Manager of Actemium Emirates Projects. “Once connected to the land-based network, vessels can stop their engines but carry on with their usual in-port activities with power for loading, unloading, lighting, climate control, computing and so on”.

For the Emirates, which are hosting COP28 in 2023, this initiative demonstrates the economic and political will to meet international demands for energy conservation.


How does quayside connection work?

Containers housing current converters (the supply frequency has to be converted from 50 to 60 Hertz), transformers and inverters are installed on the quayside. To connect, ships need to be equipped with a special electrical panel and connector. A cable handling system is also required on the quayside. The connection or disconnection operation only takes around 15 minutes. Electrical supply and management fall to the port operator.