Bilbao Port’s BilbOPS project deploys shore-power supply based on renewable energy

   May 27, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Spain's Bilbao Port Authority is currently implementing the BilbOPS project, which aims to deploy Onshore Power Supply (OPS) technology based on renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and wave power. The project involves installing 11 connection points on seven quays, with an investment of EUR 51.8 million, and is expected to be operational by 2025.

Of the total investment, EUR 47.5 million is being allocated to the project, with 30% (EUR 14.2 million) being co-funded by the European Commission through the CEF Transport 2021-2027 program. Additionally, the project has secured a EUR 5 million grant from the Recovery and Resilience Facility specifically for the new A5 Quay.

The BilbOPS project includes the establishment of a photovoltaic (PV) plant for self-consumption purposes. Moreover, the port will provide alternative fuel services in collaboration with Petronor, including hydrogen and an e-fuel plant. LNG (liquefied natural gas) will also be available, and a floating mobile OPS will be implemented to extend the reach of the technology. The port plans to install 48 charging stations for electric cars as well.

The BilbOPS initiative is expected to directly improve the quality of life for approximately 125,000 citizens, 116,000 passengers, and 10,000 workers by enhancing air quality (resulting in a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions) and reducing noise and vibration levels.

The 2023 cruise season commenced in April with the arrival of Princess Cruises' Sky Princess, which is scheduled to make four calls this year. Around 80 cruise ship visits are anticipated, with Ambassador Cruise Line making its debut and 14 cruise ships making their inaugural calls to the port of Bilbao.

Throughout the season, there will be two turnaround calls: Oceania Sirena to Israel in May and NCL's Norwegian Gem to Northern Europe in September. Noteworthy highlights include the return of DCL's Disney Dream, Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas (making four calls) and MSC Cruises making six calls, including one with MSC Fantasia.

Additionally, the port authority will continue to provide a shuttle service for companies that request it, as it has done in previous years.