16/04/2021 – Maritime / Electrification / Emissions / Noise Pollution / Nidec / Port / Malta / Cruise Ships

Nidec ASI wins €12m contract for electrification of berths in port of Malta
Nidec ASI wins €12m contract for electrification of berths in port of Malta

Nidec ASI’s innovative electrical supply system for cruise ships moored in the port of Malta will reduce emissions by over 40 tons a year and lower noise pollution, as the country looks to relauch its tourism industry with a more sustainable perspective. 


Nidec ASI – flagship firm of the Nidec Industrial Solutions platform belonging to Nidec Group – has signed a €12 million contract with the Maltese company Excel Sis for the creation of a ‘shore-to-ship’ project for the port of La Valletta (Malta). 

The project will make it possible for cruise ships moored at the five berths to draw from the island’s energy grid the power they require to be fully operative, without having to keep their polluting on-board diesel engines running. This innovative system will make it possible to reduce the emissions of pollutant gases by over 40 tons a year – the equivalent of continuous circulation of over four million vehicles – and will contribute to creating the basis for a more eco-friendly, innovative relaunch of tourism, a key sector in the Maltese economy.

Sustainable blueprint for European port electrification

The project complies with the need to follow EU directives that encourage ports to adopt berth electrification systems (shore-to-ship) in order to reduce the polluting emissions of vessels in port, while maintaining active heating and air conditioning, alongside operation of the vessel auxiliary systems. By 2025, this recommendation will become binding for all European ports, and it has also been included in the EU Recovery Plan, which places reducing environmental impact among the priorities in relaunching European countries. 

Within this context, Malta and its main port of La Valletta provide an example for all European (and other) ports to follow. The entire project was planned from the very earliest feasibility studies and will be co-ordinated through to its completion by Infrastructure Malta (IM), the Maltese government agency responsible for all the country’s infrastructure projects.

A pioneering promoter of berth electrification

Nidec ASI, which together with main contractor Excel Sis received the highest technical and economic rating in the call for bids, has been involved for years in the spread of these technologies to provide a 100-per-cent electric future for both naval and other forms of transport, as well as logistics. In fact, it is currently completing electrification of the berths in Genoa’s Port of Prà, after also having installed its systems in the ports of Leghorn, the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyards, EDISON–Navalimpianti - FSO Alba Marina and a number of other ports. The company was one of the first players in the world to promote berth electrification, a solution that provides for a significant reduction in the impact of port activities on the environment and on people, in order to promote a dramatic reduction in the emission of pollutant gases and noise from berthed vessels.

In fact, thanks to the contribution of Nidec ASI technologies, the port of Malta will be able to reduce SOx, NOx, CO2 and PM emissions, which are the cause of a significant source of pollution for the tourist-oriented isle of Malta. In addition, by plugging ships into the national grid, and thereby avoiding the use of on-board diesel generators, noise pollution from the port is also greatly reduced.

Specifically, Nidec ASI was awarded the supply of power and high-tech systems and all related engineering, including transformers, converters and the cable management system. Its extensive practical experience allowed the company to develop and implement this complex project. In fact, the unique nature of every cruise ship required the development of a specific solution for each to be able to connect the vessel with the energy grid, and Nidec ASI chose a cable management system capable of meeting the needs of the different ships.

Towards an all-electric future


“We are truly proud that our partner and main contractor Excel Sis and Infrastructure Malta have chosen our proven expertise in project management and our custom solutions for this key project which, for us, represents a new objective in our strategy to promote sustainable development and reduce environmental impact in transport and logistics, towards an all-electric future,” enthused Dominique Llonch, CEO of Nidec ASI and Chairman of Nidec Industrial Solutions. 

“The transformation of logistics and port infrastructure from the standpoint of greater security and energy savings can also contribute to attracting a greater flow of tourists who are increasingly concerned about respect for the environment. This will aid in relaunching the tourism and business sectors, which have been particularly hit by the effects of the pandemic,” he noted.


“Thanks to our expertise in the areas of automation and battery storage systems, we are able to electrify the entire port, from cranes to internal transport by using charging stations installed in microgrids within the port area,” the CEO continued. “Times such as these are ideal for promoting infrastructural transformation, which is also made easier by lower traffic levels. Our hope is that the example of Malta – and that of other earlier ports such as Genoa Prà – will soon be followed by many others in Italy and Europe, to comply with EU norms and to make the best use of the funds allocated in the Recovery Plan to, finally, act from a sustainable and green standpoint.”

Beyond the new project, Nidec ASI has engaged in the implementation of other shore-to-ship systems in Italy and France, alongside other major initiatives – such as the supply of storage battery systems for onboard energy on full-electric and hybrid cargo ships, ferries and yachts (with the possibility of providing automatic fast-recharging from land), and solutions for automating cranes used in ports. Combined, such projects make Nidec ASI a leader in the evolution of the maritime and port sector towards all-electric. 

The group is also fully active in the transport sector via promotion of the development of electric cars utilising an ultra-fast recharging system for e-vehicles. For over 40 years, the firm has also been creating ropeway systems with the goal of making them an increasingly-utilised system of public transport, while also supplying systems for recharging electric buses and passenger transport via tram/trolley.

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