Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Power Generation During Loading and Unloading

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Total project cost
€1 740 000
EU Contribution
€800 000
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Low-emission alternative energy for transport (ALT)
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

Until now power interfaces between carriers and terminals have had limited capabilities (less than 1 MW), they do not meet liquefied natural gas (LNG) or crude carriers safety requirements, and operate at a low voltage (440 volts). Furthermore they involve risky manual handling of heavy cables by the crew.

There is an emerging requirement to allow a higher power exchange between carriers and terminals in order to:

  • reduce local harbour emissions by supplying the carriers from the shore via onshore RES (renewable energy sources) (wind-powered) when available;
  • use the carrier's onboard power generation capability as a 'shadow' power source to meet power consumption demands if RES are not available.

The PLUG project aims at developing a 'hands off' concept where a single crew member can perform the connection/disconnection task without directly handling the power connector and the power cables. It also features the quick emergency safe disconnection capability required for LNG and crude carriers.

In addition, PLUG addresses the development of operational crew and terminal procedures and of data exchange systems between all the stakeholders (charter companies, crews, ship owners, customs, terminal operators, power traders, power networks, power consumers or providers, etc.) in order to allow an easy and user-friendly power exchange operation without impairing cargo handling systems.


The following work is carried out during the project:

  • design, manufacture and test of 6,600 volt connector;
  • design and manufacture of a full-size power line demonstrator;
  • develop safety analysis to meet LNG carrier and terminal safety requirements;
  • establish operational procedures relevant to both crews and terminals;
  • develop a 'link to the market' data exchange system between all the stakeholders to support their power exchange strategy.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


  1. To meet the PLUG requirements, STÄUBLI developed an innovative high voltage/high power self-mating/de-mating connector which allows a single person to tow the power line on board. One of its unique features is its triangular shape which allows automatic alignment of the electrical contacts in front of one another.
  2. Based on this connector concept, SNECMA with its partners has developed concepts for the 'Power Ports' and 'Cable Management System' for both ferries and LNG carriers.
  3. Based on the inputs from the project's group SINTEF developed a Ship-Shore power exchange software demonstrator. The work included assessment of the potential power market products, definition of the most feasible target market products, specification of the requirements and their implementation in the Demonstrator.
  4. The Demonstrator allows simulating electricity exchange between harbour and vessel, based on different pricing models (spot prices, constant prices etc.). In order to disseminate the results, the Demonstrator is available for free downloading from the SINTEF’s web-page:

Policy implications

  • Surprising results: it would be fairly profitable to export surplus electricity generation from a vessel to the conventional electricity market ashore:

    • Low fuel prices in 2006
    • High distribution network tariffs for the consumption
  • Limitations in the present tariff structure:
    • The existing capacity charge is simply prohibitively high for this type of consumption
    • Need for a special tariff for a two-way connection
  • Uncertainty about the present legislation


Although the PLUG concept met the project objectives, the Consortium requested to stop the activities before starting the detailed engineering and test of the demonstrator, due to time constraints linked to demonstration project postponement and evolution, requiring market reassessment and industrial future policy investigations.

It was commonly agreed by Consortium partners to stop the works at the achieved concept level.


Lead Organisation
2 Bd du Général Martial-Valin, PARIS, France
Organisation website
Partner Organisations
Sintef Energi As
Sem Saelandsveg 11, 7465 Trondheim, Norway
Organisation website
EU Contribution
1 rue de Folenrue, 248 VERNON, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Wavespec Limited
35 Cosway Street, LONDON, United Kingdom
EU Contribution
Stäubli Sca
Place Robert Stäubli, FAVERGES, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Converteam S.a.s
9 rue Ampère, 91300 MASSY, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution


Contribute! Submit your project

Do you wish to submit a project or a programme? Head over to the Contribute page, login and follow the process!