LNG hybrid barge delivering green power despite red tape

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JULY 6, 2016 — Though “inflexible restrictions remain a source of annoyance,” the LNG hybrid barge Hummel is continuing to “work perfectly,” supplying low-emission power to the cruise ship AIDAsol in the Port of Hamburg, Germany, says its operator, Hybrid Port Energy, a subsidiary of Becker Marine Systems.

The cruise ship now receives eight hours of uninterrupted supply during layovers.

“Contrary to reports published elsewhere, Hummel is working smoothly and at full capacity,” says Henning Kuhlmann, Managing Director of Becker Marine Systems.

The LNG hybrid barge provided over eight hours of green electricity to AIDAsol on its two layovers at the HafenCity Terminal, on May 22 and June 23, 2016.

“We are extremely satisfied at our record of more than 40 MWh of power over the longest possible period from the morning to the evening, which is equivalent to an entire supply cycle for AIDAsol in Hamburg”, Kuhlmann says.

By October, AIDAsol will have called in at the HafenCity Terminal fifteen times in total, receiving environmentally-friendly power from the LNG hybrid barge during its layover.

Last year, in its first cruise season, the floating power plant used its liquefied natural gas (LNG) systems to supply power during eleven layovers.

Still, Kuhlmann is irked by what he calls “inflexible restrictions.”

“The fact that we are still speaking of a test phase despite all the progress we have made in just one year of operation has less to do with our technical capabilities and is more a result of the restrictions imposed on us,” he says.

This July, for instance, the alternative system of a landside power plant will be subjected to a general certification procedure according to the International Electronic Consortium standard, conducted by the classification society Bureau Veritas.

Although all components on the barge are already certified, including the transfer station, the ship-to-land cabling and the cable mobile, all of the components will now require another inspection, along with AIDAsol, before faultless power supply by the LNG Hybrid Barge can be certified.

“At the moment there are two different landside power supply systems available in Hamburg”, adds Kuhlmann, “so it would be fantastic to see larger numbers of cruise ships converting to this modern technology and making a valuable contribution to improving the air quality at the Port of Hamburg.”

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