A&P Falmouth will reduce emissions in the port by providing sustainable clean shore power solutions to vessels, after it was successful in a bid to the UK Government’s Zero Emission Vessel Infrastructure fund (ZEVI).

When on stream this will be a major asset in the port’s arsenal to combat emissions and noise from all compliant ships including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships that refit here.

A&P Falmouth is part of APCL Group, the global ship building and ship repair organisation.

The £12m shore power project will see A&P Falmouth provide the UK’s first multi-vessel flexible shore power connections on Cornwall’s Atlantic Peninsula in partnership with engineering design specialist Marine Zero. As well as reducing CO2 emissions, the technology will also reduce noise in port.

The Falmouth, Atlantic & Peninsula Clean Shore Power Future project is part of the Zero Emissions Vessels and Infrastructure competition (ZEVI), which was announced in February 2023, funded by UK Government and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

As part of ZEVI, the Department for Transport allocated over £80m to ten flagship projects supported by 52 organisations from across the UK, to deliver real world demonstration Research and Development projects in clean maritime solutions. Projects will take place in multiple locations from the Orkney Isles to the southwest of England.

A&P Falmouth has partnered with Marine Zero for the design and specification of the multiple 1.5MVA shore power systems. The project will be scalable to meet future increased capacity demands of larger vessels and additional connections at A&P Falmouth. Work is already underway and is expected to be completed by Q1 2025.

Mike Spicer, managing director of A&P Falmouth, said: “Sustainable shore power plays a vital role in global and national efforts to reduce the impact of the maritime industry on the environment. Our strategy at A&P Falmouth is to achieve net zero across our operations by 2030, so this hugely exciting project will be a significant milestone on that journey. It is testament to the strength of our bid and our reputation in the industry that we were chosen by UK Government to be one of the recipients of this funding.”

Andy Hurley, Marine Zero director, said: “There is no doubt that shore power will play a critical role in reducing emissions for vessels at berth. We are delighted to be partnering with A&P Falmouth as they take this major step towards their net zero future.

“Installing shore power is a complex challenge, particularly at a large multi-vessel shipyard such as A&P Falmouth. The UK Government’s ZEVI award is a significant and welcome recognition – both of the relevance and wider impact of clean maritime solutions, as well as our technical capability and ambition to deliver them.”

Announcing the winning bids, Transport Secretary Mark Harper, said: “All of our winners are at the cutting edge of the nation’s maritime industry - a crucial part of this government’s plan to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the UK.”

ZEVI is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE), focused on clean maritime technologies that can be scaled rapidly to decarbonise the UK’s domestic maritime sector. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

Big ambitions: Mike Spicer, managing director of A&P Falmouth

Big ambitions: Mike Spicer, managing director of A&P Falmouth

With 50 cruiseships scheduled to call at Falmouth this year and with the figure rising year on year shore power for these ships is vital. But not all cruiseships are compliant with only 45 per cent of the world’s passenger ships equipped with shore power connections. Ports on the other hand paint a different picture with just 34 ports worldwide providing shore power.

Both scenarios are due to change in the next five years according to Cruise Lines International Association which expects this will rise to 71.1 per cent by 2028 due to cruise lines launching an additional 35 new builds with built-in capabilities and retrofitting a further 67 existing ships with the technology.   There are a further 40 ports now with funding projects in hand or at the planning stage.

More and more cruise ships are being built or retrofitted with shore power facilities so that they can largely switch off their own machinery in ports, eliminating local emissions from ships while they are in port. It also supports the overall cruise industry efforts to cut CO2 emissions, which can represent between 6% and 10% of the overall CO2 emissions of a cruise vessel.

A&P Falmouth is a centre of excellence for Ministry of Defence vessels, ferries, mobilisation and demobilisation works, jack-ups, pontoons and tankers, A&P Falmouth is also a busy working port, handling over 100,000 tons of product annually.