Montrose is Scotland’s First Port with Shore Power for Energy Sector's OSVs

offshore power
Offshore supply vessel Magne Viking was the first to test the new power connection (Montrose Port Authority)

Published May 6, 2024 6:22 PM by The Maritime Executive


The port of Montrose, located on Scotland’s eastern coast north of Edinburgh and Dundee, became the first Scottish port to provide shore power service for offshore energy supply vessels. The Montrose Port Authority used a self-funded joint venture with Plug Shore Power to achieve this milestone in its ambition of becoming Scotland’s first carbon-neutral port.

The port authority highlights the importance of reducing emissions from vessels and specifically at dock ships. They cite data from the UK’s Department of Transport that says 72 percent of a port’s emissions from vessels at berth while vessels maneuvering contribute another 16 percent of the total. Vessels created as much as 90 percent of a port’s overall emissions. 

The joint venture estimates it invested £1 million (US$1.25 million) as part of its collaboration with Plug Shore Power to develop the capability. Plug’s Norwegian parent company has been involved in the sector since its first installation in Bergen, Norway in 2018. They had previously collaborated with several ports in Norway to develop shore power and contributed that experience to achieve the installation at Montrose.

The project required significant upgrades to the port’s substation and quayside infrastructure. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks carried out the upgrades. 

The authority highlights that Montrose is one of the largest “chain and anchor ports” globally. The port is strategically placed to work with supply vessels servicing wind farms, oil rigs, and other destinations in the North Sea and beyond.


Two berths were outfitted with the shore power capability


The shore power facility is now operating on berths 1 and 2 at Montrose Port. Each supply pit has a maximum capacity of 800 kVA, offering both 400V, 440V and 690V at 50 or 60 Hz.

The first vessel to make a connection during the testing phase fittingly was an offshore supply ship that is a frequent visitor in Montrose. The Magne Viking, a 2011-built anchor handler and offshore supply ship, is operated by Viking Supply Ships. She sails between Montrose and the offshore oil fields and inaugurated the connection capability.

“The launch of shore power at berths 1 and 2 represents a transformative moment for us at Montrose Port Authority and the wider Scottish maritime industry,” said Captain Tom Hutchison, Chief Executive of Montrose Port Authority. “By embracing innovative solutions like shore power, we are not only reducing our environmental footprint but also positioning Montrose Port as a leader in sustainable port operations.”