Portsmouth port secures £20m shore power grant

Portsmouth International Port has won a grant of almost £20 million to build and operate a shore power system.

The government funding of £19.8 million will cover ‘plug-in’ facilities for ferries and cruise ships across the three busiest berths at the south coast port.

The Sea Change project realises the full potential of two new liquified natural gas (LNG)-electric hybrid ships from Brittany Ferries, which will begin sailing from Portsmouth from spring 2025 and will be shore-power ready.

Providing shore power aims to reduce harmful emissions and improve air quality around the port. 

It is estimated that the system will save more than 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from 2027 – equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of around 2,500 UK households or making 11,111 return flight between London and New York.

Brittany Ferries is introducing two new hybrid ferries from 2025, which run on a combination of cleaner LNG and battery power. 

With access to shore power, they will be able to charge their batteries and run on battery power when manoeuvring through Portsmouth harbour.

Maritime minister Baroness Vere said: “The maritime sector’s drive towards a cleaner future goes hand in hand with the government’s plan to grow the economy and create new, well-paid jobs all over the UK.

“As a seafaring nation, it is in our national character to push nautical limits, and this funding will help to ensure the UK maintains its position at the leading edge of maritime innovation.”

Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu added: “This is fantastic news as it fully unlocks the potential of our two new hybrid vessels. 

“Shore-side power in Portsmouth means we can be good neighbours to those who live and work around the city as soon as these vessels arrive in 2025. 

“We are delighted that our forward-thinking partners have pushed so hard to make this happen and are proud to contribute to wider emission-reduction goals.”

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