Shore power links to be installed at Victoria's cruise ship terminal to cut emissions

Apr 7 2023, 12:28 am

Victoria’s cruise ship terminal is following the footsteps of Vancouver’s cruise ship terminal by installing new equipment allowing berthed cruise ships to hook up to the grid’s clean hydroelectricity.

The provincial government announced this week it is providing $9 million to the Greater Vancouver Harbour Authority to install shore power equipment at Ogden Point.

When cruise ship terminals are at port, they can use shore power, and turn off their auxiliary engines, which significantly reduces emissions when cruise ships are making their stop.

Shore power will be installed at both berths of the Ogden Point terminal near downtown Victoria. The port authority will now work with both BC Hydro and the municipal government on designing and installing the connections.

“People want solutions to environmental concerns while also growing our economy,” said Rob Fleming, the BC minister of transportation and infrastructure, in a statement.

“This will lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution and create well-paying jobs that support sustainable tourism.”

The Port of Vancouver first installed shore power equipment at the Canada Place cruise ship terminal in downtown Vancouver in 2009. According to the port, it was the first in Canada and third in the world to offer shore power for cruise ships.

With the use of shore power, it is estimated each cruise ship visiting Canada Place saves an average of 16 tonnes in fuel, reduces an average of 50.6 tonnes in net greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces an average of 1.1 tonnes in criteria air contaminants.

For the 2023 cruise ship season, it is expected 320 cruise ships will visit Ogden Point, bringing about 850,000 passengers. The Victoria cruise ship season this year officially begins on April 11 with the arrival of the Sapphire Princess.

The Port of Vancouver is expecting 331 cruise ship visits at Canada Place in 2023, with a total of 1.3 million passengers if the ships are at capacity. The cruise ship season in Vancouver will begin on April 12, when the Sapphire Princess arrives at Canada Place from Victoria.

Victoria’s cruise ship industry is largely based on ships making a brief mid-itinerary stop,  typically from sailings that include Seattle, while Vancouver’s industry is mostly based on its designation as one of the few major homeports for Alaska cruises.

The forthcoming shore power project is the most significant upgrade to the Ogden Point terminal since the 2020 completion of the $6.8-million, 58-metre extension to Pier B mooring dolphin, allowing Victoria to handle the newer, larger cruise ships.

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