Innovation Competition ‚ZeroEmission@Berth‘

Ships are a significant source of emissions in many ports. Particular challenges in reducing their emissions are posed by the fact that they are powered almost entirely with fossil fuels, are mobile, are spread out around the port at various berths, that different types of ships have different schedules of calling, and that in part they require very large amounts of electricity on board. If they operate with 100 percent renewable power, on-grid land-based power supply facilities can be an effective measure to reduce emissions from seagoing and inland waterway vessels docked in port, but not for every port, not for every berth, and not for every ship. For this reason, nine German seaports wanted to get to know more innovative solutions, concepts and ideas in order to operate ships at berth with as few emissions as possible.

With its amendment to the Climate Change Act, the German Federal Government has tightened climate regulations and set the goal of achieving greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. Emissions are to be reduced to 65 percent of 1990 levels by 2030. The EU is aiming at a similarly ambitious target and is striving to decrease net emissions to at least 55 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In its recently released “Fit for 55 package” (July 2021), the EU Commission has proposed concrete measures regarding ships at berth. Beginning in 2030, certain types of vessels (containerships, cruise ships, and RoPax ferries) of a specified size (GT >5,000) will be required to meet zero emissions while berthed (FuelEU Maritime, Article 5), with onshore power supply, batteries, and fuel cells being defined as possible solutions.

This approach is supported by the nine German seaports, but should be designed in a way that is open to all technologies, e.g. to enable the use of fuels from renewable energies. These fuels offer the possibility of reducing CO₂ emissions and air pollutants not only at berth, but also at sea and thus to a much greater extent.

The seaports, represented by the respective port infrastructure companies, wanted to support the path of decarbonization of shipping with the innovation competition 'ZeroEmission@Berth' to enable ship operation at the berth without emissions.

We were looking for innovative ideas, concepts and existing technology solutions that provide alternatives to existing shore power system and to energy supply approaches for ships at berth and which can also contribute to reducing emissions while ships are at sea.

A presentation of the following content was expected: technical description of the solution; explanation of the technological maturity; energy source used; suitable ship types and sizes; applicability of the solution (at berth or also at sea); conditions to be created at the berths and on the ships; energy efficiency; emission potential (climate pollutants and air pollutants); economic consideration (particularly investment and operating costs estimates); market potential.


We were seeking applications in the following innovation categories:



We were seeking proposals for alternative energy supply approaches for ships at berth, which are still at an R&D stage but which demonstrate the potential for innovation.



We were seeking ideas that demonstrate technical feasibility, but which still lack the development stages (e.g. economic feasibility studies or further system developments).


Existing solutions

We were seeking market-ready solutions that are already being successfully implemented in other ports or on board and are available, but still require some adaptation or scaling-up.

The winners

The award ceremony took place as part of the German Shipping Day 2022 during the event “Sustainable Ports – Together, Clear, Clean” on 29 September at Bremen University of Applied Sciences. In total, 30 submissions were received from companies from 14 countries. "The diverse approaches from all parts of the world surprised even the jury members and prove that technology providers are serious about decarbonisation in the maritime industry," said Peter Moller, MCN Branch Manager.

The Maritime Cluster Northern Germany would like to thank all participants in the competition, the jury, the initiators of the ZeroEmission@Berth innovation competition and all visitors who attended the award ceremony.

Category A: Concepts

In Category A: Concepts, the award went to the Norwegian company TECO 2030 AS. With its Power Barge based on fuel cell technology, the company aims to bring to market a mobile, floating zero-emission power supply for ships at berth or at anchor. “A key aspect is that we look holistically at ports and the general conditions there for using our technology,” emphasised Fredrik Aarskog, the company’s Business Development Manager – Hydrogen Technology, at the award ceremony. Moreover, the system is not only suitable for use in ports or at anchor, but also for ships in motion.

Category B: Prototypes

The winner in Category B: Prototypes is CMB Germany GmbH & Co. KG, a subsidiary of the Belgian CMB Group. CMB has developed dual-fuel and mono-fuel applications for the emission-free and emission-reduced onshore power supply of ships at berth. “What’s innovative is that you can continue to use an existing technology – the diesel engine, but convert it to hydrogen,” explains Benjamin Weinacht, Managing Director of CMB Germany. “We’re taking into account the fact that hydrogen is not yet immediately available everywhere, as the engines can continue to generate electricity with diesel during the transition phase.”

Category C: Existing Solutions

The winners in Category C: Existing Solutions are the Danish companies Ballard Power Systems Europe and CS electric A/S. Their jointly developed and already certified product, FCwaveTM, supplies ships with emission-free energy from hydrogen. The fuel cells can be installed in 20-foot containers and, thanks to their very low noise level, are also highly suited for port environments. “Our approach was to use an existing zero-emission technology in a new environment – ports, which are looking to become more environmentally friendly in future,” says Thomas T. Petersen, Product Line Manager Marine at Ballard. “The solution has great potential, also because it can be scaled up quickly,” adds Gert Andersen, Senior Sales Manager at CS electric.

The nominees

Category A: Concepts
ABB OY (Finland), Hydrogen de France (France), Teco 2030 AS (Norway)

Category B: Prototypes
CMB Germany (Germany), Navtek Naval Technologies (Turkey), Teco 2030 AS (France)

Category C: Existing solutions
Ballard Power Systems & CS Electric (Denmark), DK Tankers (Singapore), e-Cap Marine (Germany), Hydrogen de France (France), Navtek Naval Technologies (Turkey)

The nominees have been named in alphabetical order.

Our jury of experts

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bert Buchholz

Head of the Chair of Piston Machines and Internal Combustion Engines
University of Rostock

Anja Henke

Senior Manager HESS & Compliance
Operating Line Training Manager /
Deputy Operating Line Compliance Manager
Carnival Maritime GmbH

Peter Müller-Baum

Managing Director VDMA Power-to-X for Applications
VDMA / German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association

Roger Strevens

VP Global Sustainability
Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Captain Wolfram Guntermann

Director Regulatory Affairs
Hapag-Lloyd AG

L. Daniel Hosseus

Managing Director
ZDS Zentralverband der Deutschen Seehafenbetriebe

Carl Ulfert Stegmann, Dipl.-Kfm.

Reederei Norden-Frisia

The initiators

The initiators of the project ‚ZeroEmission@Berth‘ are the port infrastructure companies of the herewith mentioned German seaports. With their joint position paper on ‚ZeroEmission@Berth‘, they are positioning themselves for a level playing field, for a technology-neutral approach and for the Polluter Pays Principle.
Link to the position paper on ‚ZeroEmission@Berth‘