Every year, more than 1,000 ships call at the port of Aalborg. Previously, all ships moored in the centre of Aalborg. However, in recent decades most ships have relocated their port of call to the large commercial and industrial area in Aalborg East. Only a few ships call at the town’s port and these include the cruise ships.

In many Danish towns, cargo and passenger ships still leave their mark on the urban landscape. However, in recent years, there has been more focus on the increasing number of cruise ships calling at the ports, and on the two sources of pollution from these ships: waste water and exhaust gases.

Port of Aalborg has invested heavily in reception facilities for waste water. As a result, all cruise ships can now discharge their waste water directly into the Municipality of Aalborg’s wastewater systems.

Like freighters, cruise ships have generators on board. These supply the ship with power and they emit exhaust gases. Numerous studies show that these do not pose a health risk to people in the port area. Port of Aalborg has furthermore decided that the port will only accept one cruise ship at a time, which also limits exhaust gas emissions.

Port of Aalborg has an ambition to promote sustainability and is therefore an advocate for reducing exhaust gas emissions from cruise ships. Port of Aalborg is currently working on this agenda along with other Danish and foreign ports as well as researchers in the field.

One potential solution is electrification of ships during their stay in the port. On several occasions, studies have shown that Port of Aalborg and Aalborg Forsyning will need to invest around DKK 60 million to establish this, and experience gained at other ports indicates that only very few cruise ships are equipped to receive power from the shore while they are in port. For these reasons, Port of Aalborg has decided that the money can be put to better use for other sustainability projects, e.g. plastic recycling, remote cooling, energy-saving initiatives, etc.

All ships sailing in the Baltic region are subject to a requirement for exhaust gases to contain no more than 0.1% sulphur. This is well below the international legal requirement of 3.5%, and it is a good thing that all ships sailing in the Baltic region, and thus calling at Aalborg, have low sulphur emissions. Legislation will become even stricter in the years to come. Within five to ten years, new technology will help ensure that pollution from ships in port will be drastically reduced, or even eliminated.

Port of Aalborg participates in numerous research partnerships in this field, e.g. via CLS (Centre for Logistics and Collaboration). As the only Danish port, Port of Aalborg also participates in ‘Green Ship of the Future’, an initiative promoting greener shipping traffic and, thus, limitation of pollution from ships.

In general, Port of Aalborg wants to encourage more debate about sustainable shipping and is happy to participate in this debate provided that it is evidence-based and informed.

For further information, please contact:
Kjartan Ross, Sales Manager at Aalborg Havn A/S, kr@aalborghavn.dk or +45 9930 1505.