MSC Containerships to Use Shore Power in Hamburg as Port Expands Capacity

Hamburg port
MSC signed an agreementto use shore power for both its containerships and cruise ships (HHA)

Published Jun 19, 2024 7:13 PM by The Maritime Executive


A month after Hamburg inaugurated its shore power capability for containerships, the port authority reports it has signed an agreement with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. The container carrier giant will begin using shore power on its container vessels making it the first shipping line to be using shore power both for its cruise ships and containerships in the port.

Hamburg began developing its shore power capabilities more than two years ago. The Hamburg Container Terminal (CTH) was the first of the major terminals outfitted with the capability which was tested earlier this year and inaugurated with a CMA CGM containership in May. The terminal is operated by Eurogate. Hamburg reports it is the first large port in Europe capable of providing shore power for containerships.

The plant at the CTH has three connection points, each with an output of 7.5 megavolt amperes. The electricity used comes 100 percent from renewable sources. CTH can handle three mega-ships at one time using shore power.

The plant was financed in roughly equal parts by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg with support from the federal government. The total cost of the plant is around $14 million.



“After we signed a joint letter of intent with MSC Cruises in June last year to use shore power in the Port of Hamburg, I am delighted that MSC now wants to work with us to make shipping and port operations more environmentally friendly by using shore power for container ships in the Port of Hamburg,” said Friedrich Stuhrmann, Chief Commercial Officer of HPA.”

The port highlights that it is continuing to build its capabilities and is also in discussion with more shipping lines. The other container terminals in Hamburg are currently being equipped with shore power systems.

A new shore power system for cruise ships calling at Hamburg went into operation at the Cruise Center Steinwerder in April 2024. The HPA reports that in addition to MSC, Carnival Corp. including Princess Cruises as well as TUI Cruises, Fred. Olsen, Phoenix Risen, and Norwegian Cruise Line have also committed to using shore power. 

The port is also developing a new cruise terminal in HafenCity. The terminal is currently under construction. It will be outfitted to provide shore power when it opens in 2025.