The EU’s ambitious ELEMED (ELectrification of the Eastern MEDiterranean) project is set to make a breakthrough in environmental protection at sea by creating shoreside units (pit-stops) offering electrical power to vessels at berth (known as cold ironing).
The pilot action set to be operational in March at Greek port of Kyllini will pave the way for cold ironing across the Eastern Mediterranean and will offer onshore power supply and electric propulsion alternatives for ships servicing the Zakynthos and Kefalonia routes.
The goal is to install the units at other Greek ports as well as at Piraeus, establishing the country’s largest port into a clean energy hub. Greece aims to expand the use of this technology to provide small craft the opportunity to travel the Aegean recharging at island ports.
Speaking to Naftemporiki, Panayiotis Mitrou, Technology & Innovation manager, Marine & Offshore Business Development at Lloyd’s Register South Europe, said the first step will be in March, once installation work for the power supply unit is operational at Kyllini port. “This will be the first ship electrification infrastructure in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he added.
In the meantime, a fully electric passenger catamaran with a capacity of more than 1,000 passengers, which can travel 17-20 nautical miles is currently being designed.
ELEMED, part of a global project on implementing environmentally friendly maritime transportation in the Adriatic-Ionian Sea, aims by 2025 for main EU ports to be equipped with power stations and by 2030 to be available at all European ports.