Cold ironing system inaugurated at Port of Dunkirk

CMA CGM and the Port of Dunkirk inaugurate a cold ironing system, allowing ships to plug into onshore electricity. Credit: Jean-Louis Burnod

During a ceremony held on 8 January 2020 at the Port of Dunkirk, APL SINGAPURA, a container ship belonging to Marseille-based container ship and transportation company CMA CGM, inaugurated the cold ironing facilities at the Port of Dunkirk’s Terminal des Flandres.

Cold ironing is a technology that provides an effective way of protecting the environment. By plugging into an onshore electricity supply, container ships calling at port can shut down their auxiliary engines while still getting the power they need, particularly to maintain controlled temperatures in refrigerated containers (reefers).

This innovative technology has significant environmental benefits, including:

  • Zero emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides and fine particles while ships are at berth
  • Significantly reduced noise pollution

The cold ironing system installed at the Terminal des Flandres will become fully operational during the first half of 2020. By undertaking this ambitious operation, the Port of Dunkirk and CMA CGM are confirming their determination to protect the environment.

ACTEMIUM, a consortium of two companies (Brest and Boulogne), was selected to carry out the works. These included the design and supply of a cold ironing system that fits into six 40 ft containers, converting the public electricity supply for use by ships at port. With capacity of 8 MW ­– enough to power nearly 1,000 homes – this system is one of the most powerful ever to be installed in Europe.

The operation was co-financed by the Urban Community of Dunkirk, the Hauts-de-France region (via the European Regional Development Fund), and the Port of Dunkirk.

Stéphane Raison, chairman of the Port of Dunkirk executive board, commented, “Our decision to develop this particularly innovative solution allowing container ships to plug into onshore power at the Terminal des Flandres is in line with the pro-active environmental policy that the Port of Dunkirk has been pursuing for many years.”