The power supply of ships no simple answer to port noise

The port's master planning process envisages improving the electricity supply to visiting ships, but this will require


The port’s master planning process envisages improving the electricity supply to visiting ships, but this will require “significant capital investment” from the port and electricity suppliers.

Improved infrastructure to help provide power to visiting ships is being considered for Nelson Port, but it’s not as simple as it sounds.

The question was raised after a particularly loud ship’s generator rang over the entire city, including Atawhai and Stoke, sounding “like a helicopter hovering continuously…for hours”.

However, providing electricity to ships visiting the port is not as simple as missing an extension cord.

A port spokesperson said that while the port offered electricity to visiting vessels, “it is not always suitable for some vessels”.

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“There are electrical connections located on some docks, but these power supplies are low voltage connections; large vessels require a high voltage connection, which is currently not available.

The ship that caused the disturbance earlier in the week needed significantly high voltage, the spokesman said. This level of voltage, and the infrastructure to support it, was not available at the Nelson Port docks.

Currently, ships requiring these higher voltages had to supply their own electricity via generators. The ship that caused the disruptive noise earlier in the week has been contacted by Port Nelson and has a mitigation plan in place for future visits, which the port will monitor for compliance.

However, in the long term, Port Nelson is considering infrastructure upgrades to allow for higher voltage supply to ships as part of its master planning process, the spokesman said.

“It will require significant capital investment from the port company and power companies to enable it.”

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