Integrated logistics giant Maersk plans to establish a charging buoy with Danish offshore wind farm provider Ørsted in order to reduce carbon emission for idling ships. The charging buoy acts similar to an offshore charging station that provides power for ships moored overnight, and is scheduled for demonstration at offshore wind farms by the end of 2022.
Various cargos are transported to different regions of the world through stable and reliable freighters, though sea freight is considered as one of the major emitters of carbon at approximately 3% of the total emission due to its heavy usage of fossil fuels. Freighters, even at idling, require fuels for auxiliary operations, such as providing power for winches and air-conditioners.
Hence, Maersk hopes to introduce clean and renewable energy through its venture Stillstrom, before attaining a reduction in carbon emission, and building offshore “charging car parks” for ships in the future. A buoy that is large enough in dimension would provide sufficient power for the batteries of service operation vessels (SOV) or hybrid ships.
Maersk commented that this particular technology can also be expanded in magnitude in order to provide power for larger ships, which allows ships of various models and scales to shut down their generators.
Maersk has been researching the relevant technology with Ørsted for many years, and is now ready to demonstrate the first all-size offshore charging station in the world that is scheduled for installation at the North Sea during the third quarter. The charging station will be incorporated with an offshore wind farm of Ørsted, and is believed to have enough power to let a SOV last for an entire night.
Sebastian Klasterer Toft, Risk Manager of Maersk Supply Service, commented that the new infrastructure aims to achieve offshore decarbonization at a reduction of 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, as well as lower the level of aerosols, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides, by charging idling vessels through renewable energy.
(Cover photo source: Stillstrom)