Oslo Havn logo Oslo Kommune
Zero-emissions port

Zero-emissions port

Zero-emissions urban port: Oslo is well on its way to developing a zero-emissions port. Illustration: Municipality of Oslo

Port of Oslo will become emissions-free, collaborate with stakeholders to phase out fossil fuels and adopt emissions-free solutions for maritime and land transport.

Oslo is one of the world's most climate-conscious and environmentally ambitious port cities.

By 2030, Oslo will eliminate 95% of greenhouse gas emissions. Port of Oslo will reduce emissions by 85% in the same period, and become emissions-free over the long term.

Road traffic, waste incineration, and power generation are the city's largest sources of emissions. Ports and shipping account for 3% of Oslo’s greenhouse gas emissions.

World’s first emissions-free port

Port of Oslo's vision is to become the world's most environmentally friendly urban port. The plan for a zero-emissions port was established and approved by Oslo City Council in 2018. 

Implementation of the plan is underway. To achieve its climate goals the plan calls for the replacement of fossil fuels with electricity for all land transport, shore power for all vessels, and emissions-free maritime transport.

Collaboration between Port of Oslo, its customers, and Oslo’s business community is essential to help make the harbor and city emissions-free. The port plays a vital role in the transition to emissions-free fuels for transport of cargo and goods.

Port of Oslo will make significant investments in the power grid to increase the use of shore power for vessels, and charging stations to load batteries. Port equipment and machinery in the port can also be charged, and cargo shipped onward by trucks or by rail.

Developing a zero-emissions port has significant costs. In the port of Sydhavna alone, more than NOK 200 million will be invested in emissions-free infrastructure over the coming decades. Shipping lines must rebuild their fleet, and port operators need to invest in zero-emissions vehicles at the terminal and for transport.  

The seaway is the greenway

Oslo is home to Norway's largest cargo and passenger port. In a typical week, between 50 and 70 ships call at the port.

Half the country's population is within a three-hour drive from the main cargo terminal. Maritime transport creates less than half the total emissions of all other forms of transport combined.

The port's most important environmental measure is to help shift traffic from road to sea. Therefore, Port of Oslo is planning for a 50% increase in cargo and a 40% increase in passenger traffic by 2034.


Shore power to ships

The largest discharges in the port are from ships. Reducing diesel emissions when ships are berthed is the first step on the road to an emissions-free port.

Shore power connects vessels to the port’s electrical grid allowing them to shut down diesel-powered engines. Shore power reduces greenhouse gas emissions and, local air and noise pollution.

International ferries, which were responsible for most emissions, are now supplied with shore power. In 2019, ferries to Denmark were connected to a newly built onshore power plant at Vippetangen. Color Line has utilized shore power for its two cruise ferries on Hjortneskaia since 2011.

SHORE POWER. City Councilor, Raymond Johansen cuts the ribbon for a new shore power plant for international ferries at Vippetangen on January 8, 2019. Also pictured are former Vice-Mayor for Business Development & Public Ownership, Kjetil Lund, Minister of Environment and Transport, Lan Marie Berg, and Port Director, Ingvar M. Mathisen. Photo: Heiko Junge NTB / Scanpix.


The goal is for international ferry traffic to be emissions-free by 2025, at the quay and when entering and departing the harbor. Use of shore power, combined with battery operation and renewable fuels can help achieve this target. The zero-emissions plan establishes requirements for shore power to cruise ships by 2025.

Emissions free local ferries

The ferry connection between Oslo and Nesodden transports four million passengers annually, more than any other ferry route in Norway. Norled's ferries became emissions-free in 2020. Previously, the Nesodden ferries used liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable biodiesel.

ELECTRIC LOCAL FERRY. Several million people travel emissions-free between Oslo and Nesodden each year. Ferries charge batteries at the pier in front of the town hall. Photo: Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien


Ruter's is constructing new island ferries. Boreal will launch its first electric island ferry in 2021. These vessels will also charge at the town hall piers. The Municipality of Oslo, as an environmentally conscious procurer, requires zero-emission solutions, similar to the approach the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has taken for several of its ferry connections. By the end of 2021, there will be more than 70 electric ferries operating in Norway.

Emissions-free cargo port

Electrification of Oslo’s cargo port is vital to reducing transport sector emissions far beyond the port's borders. The cargo port is responsible for almost half the port's emissions, (18,000 tonnes of 40,000 tonnes in 2018).

Planning is underway for shore power to cargo ships and emissions-free cargo handling in Oslo. Norway's largest and most modern container terminal, Yilport Oslo, is well on its way to becoming emissions-free. Trains transporting fuel to Gardermoen airport depart daily. Efforts are being made to improve the connection between the port’s container terminal and the freight terminals at Alnabru.  

Oslo Havn satser på økt energieffektivitet i hele havna med elektrisktransport og terminalutstyr, landstrøm ogfornybart drivstoff til skip.

ENERGY EFFICIENT. Port of Oslo invests in increased energy efficiency through electric transport and terminal infrastructure, shore power, and renewable fuels for ships, shore power, hydrogen and battery. Illustration: Hafslund Eco


Charging stations

To achieve the goal of reducing 85% of emissions by 2030, ships must be able to sail emissions-free in Oslofjord. In addition to increasing the use of shore power, ports must provide charging stations or alternative fuels. Port of Oslo has studied the role of electrification to help it become a zero-emissions port. The use of locally produced biogas and hydrogen is also being considered. As an urban port, Oslo is well-positioned to build an emissions-free logistics network, at sea and on land, able to expand without additional emissions.

Emissions-free cargo handling

Planning is underway to construct several charging stations, part of a larger effort to use space at the cargo port more effectively. These stations will supply power to electric loaders, trucks, conveyor belts, and other necessary equipment to handle cargo and goods without emissions.

Port of Oslo has reduced its emissions from port-owned vessels and vehicles from 230 tonnes in 2015 to 2.8 tonnes in 2020 by phasing out vehicles powered by fossil fuels, and investing in electric vehicles. Port vessels and vehicles stopped using fossil fuels in 2019. The world's first electric environmental boat of its kind, Pelikan 2, was designed to collect floating waste from the harbor basin.

Oslo Havns nye miljøbåt Pelikan 2.
INNOVATIVE COLLABORATION. Port of Oslo and Grovfjord Mekaniske shipyard developed the world's first electric environmental boat of its kind. Pelikan 2 removes waste from Oslo’s harbor. Photo: H.K. Riise


Carbon capture supports circular economy

Waste incineration accounts for almost 20% of Oslo emissions. Carbon capture and storage, (CCS) on the Norwegian continental shelf, is one solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from waste incineration. This approach assumes carbon will be transported by ship from Port of Oslo. To transport liquid carbon, specially designed tankers and new port infrastructure are required.

Havne- og miljøsymboler i png-format.


International and national requirements for emissions-free maritime transport

The shipping industry worldwide is exploring how to increase its use of clean energy. Ships account for almost 90% of all cargo transport and 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty percent of the world's vessels, primarily giant container ships that sail the world’s oceans, account for 80% of emissions. These vessels do not call at Oslo.

The International Maritime Organization, (IMO) a UN agency, set requirements for more efficient energy use by 2030 with a goal that all ships be fossil-free by 2050. Norway was a driving force behind this initiative.

The shipping sector develops and evaluates alternative fuels. Several members of The Norwegian Shipowners' Association are working on groundbreaking projects using hydrogen, ammonia, biogas, and electricity.

In the national action plan for green shipping, the Norwegian government has set targets and direction: The Government’s ambition is to reduce emissions from domestic shipping and fisheries by half by 2030, and promote the development of low, and zero-emission solutions for all vessel categories. Norway’s maritime industry is a world leader in the green shift, but it is necessary to speed up the green transition to meet this goal”.

Port of Oslo and the municipal Climate Agency participate in the Green Shipping Program (GSP). GSP is a public-private partnership to advance the Norwegian government's maritime strategies and plans.  Its vision is to develop and strengthen Norway's goal to establish the world's most efficient and environmentally friendly shipping.

Facts: Zero-emissions port

Excerpts from the action plan, Port of Oslo: A zero-emissions port (2018):

Port of Oslo's total emissions in 2018 were estimated at 56,730 tonnes of CO2, which constitutes 3% of the Municipality of Oslo’s emissions. In 2017, the municipality's total emissions were 1.3 million tonnes.

The largest port discharges are from ships and port operations:

  • International ferries
  • Local ferry traffic
  • Landside port operations
  • Containerships
  • Tankers
  • Dry bulk, and other cargo ships

17 measures to help make Oslo a zero-emissions port:

  • Environmental differentiation of port fees to reward low-emission ships (EPI and ESI)
  • Oslo Municipality membership in the Green Coastal Shipping Program
  • Update and revise action plan for Port of Oslo 2019 - 2021
  • Shore power for international ferries 2018 - 2020
  • Collaborate with other cruise ports on common environmental requirements, and shore power by 2025
  • Oslo a driving force to shift more goods from road to sea
  • Emissions-free operation of Nesodden ferries 2018 - 2019
  • Emissions-free operation of Ruter's high-speed boats 2019 - 2024
  • Emissions-free operation of the island ferry service 2018 - 2021
  • Requirements for zero-emissions solutions for international ferries effective 2025
  • Establish a dialogue with national authorities regarding environmental requirements of the Ports & Waterways Act
  • Infrastructure for piloting autonomous ships 2019 - 2024
  • Emissions-free cargo terminal at Port of Oslo 2018 - 2025
  • Emissions-free transport to and from Port of Oslo 2018 - 2030
  • Bonus for ships operating at reduced speed 2019 - 2025
  • Facilitate replacement for steam power in port using renewable alternatives 2018 - 2025

Oslo’s status as a zero-emissions port:

  • Environmental Port Index (EPI) applied to Port of Oslo
  • Establish the “polluters pay” principle in Port of Oslo
  • Port of Oslo and the Norwegian Climate Agency participate in the Green Shipping Program
  • All international ferries connected to shore power in Port of Oslo
  • Port of Oslo received a subsidy for a pilot project to provide shore power to cruise ships
  • The Oslo Fjord collaboration launched with Klimasats
  • Nesodden ferries electrified. First electric island boat in 2021
  • Color Line researches ammonia as a fuel
  • DFDS plans to build a hydrogen ship
  • The Norwegian Maritime Authority proposes stricter national environmental requirements
  • Port operators phase in electric loaders
  • Pursue zero-emissions construction sites  

FNs bærekraftsmål som er relevante for Oslo Havns virksomhet