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4 from Denmark look at Juneau for cruise ship port development

Posted: November 6, 2011 - 1:11am
Bryan Farrell, a mechanical engineer for Alaska Electric Light & Power, gives an overview of the shore to ship electric power setup at the South Franklin Cruise Dock to a delegation from Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday as they research a remodel of their port. From right the delegation is: Bengt-Olof Jansson, Copenhagen-Malmo Port (CMPort),  Hans Vasehus Madsen, technical manager for BY&HAVNn, Kirsten Ledgaard, senior head of planning for BY&HAVN and Dennis Lak Huusfelt, Ramböll, civil engineering consultants.  Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Bryan Farrell, a mechanical engineer for Alaska Electric Light & Power, gives an overview of the shore to ship electric power setup at the South Franklin Cruise Dock to a delegation from Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday as they research a remodel of their port. From right the delegation is: Bengt-Olof Jansson, Copenhagen-Malmo Port (CMPort), Hans Vasehus Madsen, technical manager for BY&HAVNn, Kirsten Ledgaard, senior head of planning for BY&HAVN and Dennis Lak Huusfelt, Ramböll, civil engineering consultants.

Four representatives of Copenhagen, Denmark, were in Juneau on Friday learning more about Juneau’s cruise ship berths.

Copenhagen is in the process of constructing three new cruise ship berths, taking down others for urban development and reclaiming an area near the cruise terminals for shipping containers and cars. The construction will be a small expansion of the cruise ship capacity the port can handle.

The comprehensive project will cost 1.1 billion Danish krone, or approximately $250 million U.S. dollars.

The team is investigating the possibility of making shore power hookups at the planned cruise ship terminal mandatory — that includes what the investment would take, if the market would support it, and what the consequences of doing so would be.

Bengt-Olof Jansson, chief technical officer of the Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) came with electrical consultant Dennis Huusfelt with Ramboll Buildings and Design and BY&HAVN representatives Kirsten Ledgaard, senior head of planning, and Hans Vasehuse Madsen, head of construction. BY&HAVN is the city of Copenhagen’s development corporation for both city and port.

“This trip is to end up with a paper for the politicians giving a recommendation what to do,” said Vasehuse Madsen.

Jansson said he works for both the Danish side of port operations, but also the metro of Malmö in Sweden. Malmö is across the Oresund Sea from Copenhagen and connected by a bridge.

The port is one of the largest Northern European cruise ship terminal operators and has a sizeable share of the car and oil transport market.

Ownership of the port, Ledgaard said, is 45 percent state and 55 percent city owned, and both must agree to the final plan. CMP is a joint venture company registered in Sweden and is half owned by the Copenhagen City and Port Development, 27 percent owned by the City of Malmö and 23 percent owned by private investors. Vasehuse Madsen said it took more than three years to get approval and funding for the project, which has a tight deadline of two years for construction.

That’s a rather short time frame considering the project will significantly transform the port. They have until 2014 to complete three terminal buildings along the new cruise ship berths because of a late change order. The initial draft had tent-like structures and they found it would be cheaper to just construct buildings.

This past season Copenhagen had 250 calls to port and they have 2.5 new ships coming into port every year — so their tourism niche is growing. In the entire global cruise industry, the Baltic Sea service is the third largest.

“We are close to fully occupied in the season to dates that are booked by the cruise managers,” Jansson said. “We haven’t said ‘no’ to date.”

Jansson said one component of looking at shore power is environmental. There is a benefit to having shore power for cruise ships because it means they aren’t burning diesel in port. One dilemma that may come with Copenhagen’s consideration is the amount of wind power available. If the cruise ships take their energy from the city’s second large source of power — coal — it negates the environmental benefit, Ledgaard said.

Choosing an energy source isn’t the only hurdle. Vasehuse Madsen said the cruise ships connect with 60 hertz, while the city is equipped for 50 hertz, so converters would be required.

Another challenge their studies have found is that the majority of cruise ships coming to their port are 20-30 years old and only about two ships per season are equipped with the capability of accessing shore power.

Jansson said it’s currently looking like a bad business case, but positive environmentally. It would cost about 6 million Euro (about $8.26 million) and take 15 years to pay off, based on current potential users.

But they are charged with finding out costs, benefits and challenges of developing shore power at all three new cruise ship berths. Construction includes conduit to run those lines to the berths, but actual connections will be further out once Copenhagen decides the best course.

Jansson said they are a little afraid of pushing forward as a solo port because ships are not easily converted and if the city were to make shore power hook ups mandatory that could push them out of the market. If the other ports along the route — Helsinki; St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm and Tallinn, Estonia — also developed shore power requirements, it could be more successful.

Jansson said their study also found the majority of energy spent by cruise ships is actually at sea, not at shore.

The study also investigated how many cruise ships can utilize shore power and found approximately 38 globally.

The group chose Juneau (along with Seattle, Vancouver and San Diego) because it was one of the first to install shore power at a cruise ship terminal and it’s environmentally friendly electricity provided by hydropower. The group wanted to get information on Juneau’s “best management practices” because of the environment aspect.

Kirby Day, who spoke for Princess Cruise Lines, told the contingent about Juneau’s unique situation. He said Juneau, at the time, had excess hydro power and the Lake Dorothy project was in progress. Day said part of the reason for considering the change was because cruise ships had a stigma of creating a smoggy-like atmosphere in a town like Juneau where the port is situated in a bowl.

“This was the one most impacted by visible emissions,” Day said. “Also having a local presence here, having cruises here for 40-50 years, we wanted to find a way to environmentally be a good neighbor and try to solve this issue with at least one of the berths. Back in 2001, people said that will never work. No one had ever tried this before. It’s not like plugging in a coffee pot.”

Day explained how power is now more limited and that if there is limited power for city operations, cruise ship power is cut off.

Day said that there were v80 calls to port at the Franklin Dock this past season and they hooked up to shore power about 70 times, but the 10 or so that had problems were related to software and other technical issues, not necessarily a lack of available hydropower. Day said that about 11 of Princess’ 17 cruise ships are shore-power capable, with the smaller ones generally not having the option.

Drew Green, of Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska told them in Alaska, ports have to grow with one another or they learn a hard lesson and get wedged out of the market.

Green said they’ve also been dealing with environmental issues regarding wastewater discharge. He said Alaska has the strictest rules in the world on it and CLA is working to find a balance by looking at the science behind the rules.

The group also heard from Bryan Farrel from Alaska Electric Light & Power, Jim Dorn about wastewater and from presenters on cruise ship tracking and the Ocean Rangers program.

For more information on the Copenhagen project see bit.ly/tKDmlY.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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