Stephen Xuereb

Stephen Xuereb, who holds the dual role of COO at Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest cruise port operator, and the GM of the Valletta Cruise Port, lauded the successful integration of shore power at the local port.

On 1st December 2023, Viking Saturn was the first cruise vessel to be fully energised through the Onshore Power Supply (OPS) system at Valletta Cruise Port. On the following day, Viking Venus berthed on Boiler Wharf, joined Viking Saturn in the historic port, and was also simultaneously provided with shore power, with both Viking ships successfully powered through the OPS.

“The successful integration of shore power at Valletta Cruise Port stands as a testament to our dedication to eco-friendly initiatives. We prioritize Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations, and this achievement aligns with our commitment to advancing green energy solutions across all GPH facilities,” Mr Xuereb said.

Valletta Cruise Port at the Valletta Grand Harbour

Onshore power supply systems have long been touted as a game-changer for the cruise industry as it significantly reduces emissions when large vessels are berthed. Indeed, a shore power connection allows cruise ships to plug into cleaner, landside electrical power, and turn off diesel engines while at berth.

While ships are docked, they still require energy for various reasons – to run lights, chill food, operate equipment and power any other necessary or relevant machinery and services on board. As a result of OPS systems, each ship that plugs in can significantly reduce diesel emissions and CO2 emissions, a matter of concern for residents who live close to major ports as is the case in Valletta and wider climate goals. Such systems however are considered to be prohibitively expensive for many smaller island nations that experience high maritime and cruise activity.

Onshore Power Supply system at work at the Valletta Grand Harbour

Indeed, the Valletta Grand Harbour’s OPS system is a €49.9 million initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Infrastructure Malta, and Transport Malta, and supported by Valletta Cruise Port, providing shore power on the five main cruise ship quays of Valletta’s Grand Harbour. The shore supply powers up cruise ships with the much-needed energy and shuts down the onboard generators, meeting stringent environmental regulations.

Mehmet Kutman, Chairman and CEO of Global Ports Holding, expressed his gratitude, stating, “This accomplishment underscores our unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and innovation. I extend my sincere thanks to the Maltese Government and Infrastructure Malta for their pivotal role in bringing this project to fruition. Special appreciation goes to the Valletta Cruise Port team for their persistent efforts and coordination.”

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