Sustainability in the port

We, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), don't see our sustainable behavior as an unpleasant duty, but as a rewarding task for the future. On that account we are committed to the anti air pollution scheme Hamburg. We commit ourselves to path-breaking technologies and their use within the port. HPA's measures include an environmental discount in port usage fees, the construction of a LNG infrastructure and shoreside power system and more.

Learn more about LNG and environmentally friendly electricity supply.

Facts about LNG

• LNG = Liquefied Natural Gas
• produced by cooling it down to -162°C
• high energy density
• environmentally friendly, safe and inexpensive
• reduction of emissions compared to conventional marine fuel

Air pollution control: It concerns all of us

Air pollution control in Hamburg is an important and city-wide task. And the Port of Hamburg is playing a leading role. The Hanseatic city is especially responsible to organize the mobility of people and the transport of goods while minimizing adverse health effects on the inhabitants. On that account, Hamburg opts within its anti air pollution scheme for various innovative projects, the extension of the public transport, the promotion of electromobility and individual traffic restraining measures. Besides that, the focus also lies on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and shoreside power.

We'd like to present you some of HPA's measures that refer to LNG. They're part of the anti air pollution scheme for Hamburg whose second continuation has already been written in June 2017. Its goal: Maintaining the annual limit for NO2 the quickest possible to reduce the amount of affected inhabitants.

Read the Anti air pollution scheme for Hamburg. (German)

Exemplary LNG-measures:

To reduce the emissions of the cruise industry while it's growing, the HPA, by order of the City of Hamburg, started the construction of a shoreside power system at the cruise terminal Altona in July 2014. By now, it is in regular operation. Besides, HPA also erected a landside infrastructure at the cruise terminal HafenCity to make the power supply of cruise ships possible at this location. It was a cooperation scheme of Fa. Be­cker Ma­ri­ne Sys­tems (BMS) and the shipping company AIDA. By producing the electricity through LNG gas engines, according to information provided by the operator 100% of the PM10 and SOx emissions as well as 80% of the NOx emissions can be saved.

By providing a LNG infrastructure, the shipping companies are supposed to be able to be supplied with this environmentally friendly fuel in order to push on the conversion of their fleet. The use of LNG reduces the emissions significantly, especially when compared to the combustion of conventional fuel. The basis of the calculation of the effectiveness of this measure is a scenario: In 2020, 0.5% and in 2025 5% of all ships entering the Port of Hamburg will be converted to be driven by LNG. 

By using new and low-emission technologies such as LNG, electric drive and hydrogen, the emissions of port-internal traffic are supposed to be reduced. The basis of the calculation of the effectiveness of this measure is a scenario: Until 2020 1% of tugs and HADAG-ferries and until 2025 10% of those ships will be converted to be driven by LNG.

The use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) for marine fuel offers a considerable reduction of emissions compared to conventional marine fuel. Therefore, HPA carried out a study from 2012-2014 that focused on potentials and realization possibilities of LNG for shipping, rail and lorry traffic. Its conclusion laid the foundations for the use of LNG in the Port of Hamburg.


The shoreside power system commissioned by the HPA and implemented by Siemens was inaugurated in 2016 as a pilot project. A thorough testing phase was required to gain experience since there are no comparable systems worldwide.

The shoreside power system at the Cruise Centre Altona has been in regular operation for one year now as of April 2018, with the docking of the AIDAsol cruise liner. The AIDAsol was supplied with green electricity from the shore a total of twelve times over the past season, nine of those times was with a full supply – in doing so, the ship's generators were shut down during the entire docking time in Hamburg and the ship was supplied at berth free of emissions. Plans for 22 port calls by the AIDAsol are planned during the cruise season, as well as tests of new potential shoreside electricity clients.

"Operation of the shoreside power system has been a huge success for the HPA", says Tino Klemm, CFO of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA). "We have successfully broken new technological ground with the construction of the system. We have since been able to establish routine operations and are delighted with the increasing demand. We have made a significant contribution to a clean Port of Hamburg with the shoreside power system.

"Together with our partners from research, science, business and politics, we have been making huge strides in the field of alternative drive technologies and modern environmental technology for many years now. We invest millions of euros each year" says Dr. Ali Arnaout, Senior Vice President & CFO at AIDA Cruises. "The shoreside power system here in Hamburg Altona is an important contribution to further improving the quality of air in the Port of Hamburg."

The municipal utility company HAMBURG ENERGIE, AIDA Cruises and HPA concluded a contract for the supply of electricity following the commencement of regular operation. The electricity supplied is drawn exclusively from regenerative energies. "HAMBURG ENERGIE wants to advance the energy revolution in a responsible manner" says Project Manager Jörn Fedder at HAMBURG ENERGIE. "We look after the supply of green electricity throughout the city: Also on the sea too by supplying cruise liners in the Port of Hamburg with green shoreside power."


As part of the port usage fees, the HPA offers various tariff aspects which reward environmentally friendly ships with a bonus. In order to achieve quicker success in controlling air pollution in the port, the HPA grants a discount in the port usage fees for the use of environmentally friendly port power. Cruise and container ships in overseas traffic can save up to 3,000 euros. With this, the HPA hopes to further convince users of the port to abandon the more favourable electricity generation systems while docked in port.

For example, HPA understands port power as the use of shoreside power systems such as those at the Cruise Centre in Altona and also alternative power sources while docked, such as LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). The focus is on cruise liners and container ships since these have a comparatively high power requirement due to their functional profile. Swift success can be achieved in controlling air pollution if ship-owners take the appropriate measures.

Additional incentives for the use of environmentally friendly ships are provided by the HPA in the form of rebates for the use of tankers with a double hull, for the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and of shoreside power. Furthermore, "Blue Angel" and "Green Award" certifications are also rewarded for particularly environmentally or safe ships.

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