Sustainability in the port

We from Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) do not view our sustainability actions and behaviour as an unwanted obligation – we see them as a rewarding task for the future. This is the reason why we have committed ourselves to the air purity plan for Hamburg, supporting pioneering technologies and their use in the port. The measures being implemented by HPA include the integration of an LNG infrastructure, the construction of onshore power stations, the offer of discounts in port fees for environmentally friendly ships, and more.

Discover more about LNG and eco-friendly power supply.

Facts about LNG

• LNG = liquefied natural gas
• Cooled down to –162°C to become liquefied
• Easier to transport and store
• High power density
• Eco-friendly, safe and affordable
• Significant emissions reduction compared to conventional ship fuel


Air purity in Hamburg is an important task that affects the entire city. And the Port of Hamburg is playing a leading role. Hamburg has the special responsibility here to organise the mobility of people and the transport of goods, while at the same time minimising the effects of these on the health of the people who live here. For this reason, Hamburg is implementing in its air purity strategy a number of innovative projects and single traffic-limiting measures – in addition to LNG (liquefied natural gas) and onshore power.

We would like to present to you some of HPA’s measures which revolve around LNG. They are an essential part of the air purity plan for Hamburg. This was drafted for a second time in June 2017. Its aim: to guarantee the compliance with the yearly average NO2 limit as quickly as possible and thus reduce the number of affected residents to a minimum.

Read the entire air purity plan for Hamburg here. (German)


To minimise emissions caused by cruise ships, whose numbers are forecast to grow even further, HPA was commissioned by the City of Hamburg to install a fixed onshore power station. Construction commenced in July 2014 at the Altona cruise ship terminal and has since taken up regular service. HPA has also erected the land-side infrastructure at the cruise ship terminal in HafenCity, with the aim to enable power supply for cruise ships.

A collaborating project between Fa. Becker Marine Systems (BMS) and the AIDA shipping company

Thanks to the generation of power via LNG engines, 100% of PM10 and SOX emissions, as well as 80% of NOX emissions, can be saved according to operator information.

With the availability of an LNG infrastructure, shipping companies shall have the opportunity to supply their ships with environmentally friendly fuel and thus drive forward change for their fleet. By using LNG as ship fuel, emissions can be significantly reduced compared to propulsion by conventional ship fuels. The basis for the calculation of the measure’s effectiveness is the scenario that in 2020, 0.5%, and in 2025 5%, of all oceangoing ships which call at the Port of Hamburg will be equipped for LNG.

Thanks to the use of new low-emission technologies, such as LNG, electric propulsion or hydrogen power, the emissions caused by inner-port transport shall be continually reduced. The basis for the calculation of the measure’s effectiveness is the scenario that 1% of tugs and HADAG ferries have switched to LNG by 2020, and 10% of tugs and HADAG ferries by 2025.

The use of LNG (liquefied natural gas) as ship fuel ensures significantly lower emissions than conventional marine diesel. This is why HPA conducted a study from 2012 to 2014, with the aim to test the potential benefits and implementation opportunities for LNG within ship, rail and road transport. The results of the study formed the foundation for the use of LNG in the Port of Hamburg.


The onshore power station, which was commissioned by HPA and installed by Siemens, was launched as a pilot project in 2016. As there is no other similar station like it in the world, the comprehensive and extensive test phase enabled us to gain valuable experience.

Ever since April 2018, with the calling of the AIDAsol cruise ship, the onshore power station has been in regular operation at the Altona cruise terminal for about a year.  The AIDAsol has been supplied with eco-friendly power from ashore twelve times in the past season, nine times of which it received full supply. During this time, the ship’s own generators were shut down completely while in Hamburg and the ship was supplied with emissions-free power from its berth. In the cruise ship season, the AIDAsol has planned 22 fixed calls, and potential new customers for onshore power will be testing the system.

“For HPA, the operations of the onshore power station are a true story of success,” says Tino Klemm, CFO of Hamburg Port Authority (HPA). “With the installation of this station, we have successfully tread a new path of technology. In the meantime, we have been able to establish regular routine operations and are delighted about the ongoing demand. Thanks to the onshore power station, we have made an important contribution to making the Port of Hamburg even greener.”

“Together with partners from the research, academics and science, business and politics realms, we have been performing pioneering work for many years in the area of alternative power-generating technologies and more modern environmental technology. We invest millions of euros in these each year,” explains Dr Ali Arnaout, Senior Vice President & CFO for AIDA Cruises. “The onshore power station here in Altona in Hamburg are a significant contribution to further improving the air quality in the Port of Hamburg.”

To mark the startup of regular operations, the HAMBURG ENERGIE city municipality, AIDA Cruises and HPA closed a contract for power supply. The supply solely involves energy from renewable sources. “HAMBURG ENERGIE strives to drive forward the energy revolution responsibly,” says project head Jörn Fedder, from HAMBURG ENERGIE. “We are taking care of supplying eco-friendly power throughout the city, and also to the water, by supplying cruise ships in the Port of Hamburg with green onshore power.”


Within the scope of the port fees, HPA offers various tariffs which reward environmentally friendly ships by offering a bonus. To achieve improved air quality within the port faster, HPA provides a discount on port fees for the use of eco-friendly port power. Oceangoing cruise and container ships can save up to 3,000 euros in this way. This reward from HPA aims to convince port users that they should avoid the use of ship-generated power while at birth.

HPA understands port power to be, for instance, the use of onshore power stations like at the Altona cruise terminal, as well as alternative power supply while at berth, such as with LNG (liquefied natural gas). We are focusing mainly on cruise and container ships because these have a relatively high consumption of power due to their function and ship profile. We can achieve improved air quality quickest when the shipping companies implement the respective measures.

Additional motivation for the use of environmentally friendly ships is provided by HPA with discounts for the use of tankers with double hulls, the use of LNG and of onshore power. Certification according to the Blauer Engel as well as through the “Green Award” are honoured, too, for particularly eco-friendly or safe ships.

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