Aim too build
The world’s first zero-emission port
Could be completed as soon as 2026.

Aim to build the world’s first zero-emission port

Aim to build the world’s first zero-emission port 2560 1409 admin_kilden

Press release. Bergen. 19 May 2020

The world’s first zero-emission port may be completed as soon as 2026. The goal is for the new port outside Bergen – Kildn – to be self-sufficient for renewable energy and to create hundreds of new green jobs.

Crystal clear political message

In 2018, the Norwegian parliament decided that no tourist or cruise ships should use fossil fuels in the fjords in Western Norway from 2026 onwards. Under the Action Plan for Green Shipping, the government aspires for all Norwegian ports to be zero-emission by 2030.

“The political message is crystal clear. For there to be continued growth in shipping and tourism in Western Norway, their climate impact must be significantly reduced. Our plans will enable and facilitate the kind of sustainable development of the region’s shipping and tourism that is wanted, while simultaneously creating hundreds of new jobs”, says Rygg.

Bergen’s municipal master plan sets out a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Since March 2020, Vy Fjord1 Reiseliv has already been operating hybrid electric vessels, and from the turn of the year it will start using fully electric, zero-emission vessels.

Unique use renewable energy solutions

The ambition is to build the first zero-emission port capable of generating, storing and using its own energy, thereby minimising the strain on the local electrical grid. The zero-emission port will have a 1.3 km long quay front where cruise ships, cargo ships and high-speed craft can dock and be resupplied with whatever fossil-free energy source they need – electricity, hydrogen or ammonia.

In practice this will involve developing an energy hub combining shore power, battery storage technology, solar panels and thermal energy.

“This energy system will provide sufficient power for shore power and for charging ships, so that we minimise the strain on the electrical grid. Kildn will thus facilitate the transition to a greener future for shipping. We will require all large cruise ships to operate in zero-emission mode when sailing in and out of the port. Building a new port where this has been planned from day one is a unique opportunity. Nothing like it exists at the moment”, says Rygg.

The idea is to achieve this by using an optimal balance of four different potential renewable energy sources:

  1. Sea water from a depth of 100 metres that will be passed through a heat exchanger and used to cool fresh water, which will be distributed around the facility to provide cooling.
  2. Approximately 23,000 m2 of rooftop solar panels will cover a significant proportion of the facility’s energy consumption.
  3. Underground battery storage system to provide extra power for shore power. That will help to reduce the need to draw electricity from the grid on Askøy.
  4. A seawater pumped storage power station where water is pumped up to a great height when power and energy is available, and then released through a turbine when power and energy are required. This serves the same purpose as the battery, and it will also be built underground.

Home port for the fast ferry network

The area enjoys a strategic location on the approach to Bergen, so it could play a key role in a fast ferry network, acting as a charging station and hub linking Bergen, Flesland and the new port at Ågotnes. The project backers believe the port has the potential to supply five large cruise ships, as well as a fleet of electric high-speed craft operating on a fast ferry network serving the Bergen region.

Instead of all cruise ships having to enter Bergen, some of them will be able to dock at Askøy, where they will be able to resupply and recharge their batteries. “Passengers will be ferried to and from Bergen, Flesland and the fjords on a network of routes served by fast electric ferries”, says Rygg.

Green roof and greater accessibility

The green port will be built on a part of the island that is uninhabited. The area is hilly and inaccessible, with vertical cliffs down to the sea. The area is currently not very well set up or widely used for hiking. The building is designed to fit into the landscape. The main building will link the countryside to the north of the port with the countryside and sea front to the south by means of a green roof that you can walk along.

“We have looked at how to ensure that Kildn fits as naturally as possible into the landscape. All natural environments are vulnerable, and we want to preserve this one as much as possible. Existing recreation activities will be improved by making them more accessible and by using universal design principles. Additional activities will be made available and added at Eidsvika. We will also carry out thorough environmental impact assessments and get the input of experts and the residents of Askøy during the planning process”, says Rygg.

Kildn aims to offer new scenic viewpoints, accessible architecture and a green rooftop terrace as part of its new recreational offering for hikers in Askøy.

Securing revenues and jobs

Bergen is currently Norway’s busiest port of call for cruise ships, and fjord tourism generates significant revenues for businesses in the region. However, the city council has decided to reduce the number of cruise ships calling at Bergen city centre from eight to three per day. Alternative options are therefore needed.

“As a home port for cruise ships, Kildn can be a complementary port to Bergen. It can make an important contribution to ensuring that the Bergen region has the capacity and flexibility to cater to the expected increase in fjord tourism and cruise passengers in the region”, continues Rygg.

The area offers vast opportunities, and Rygg envisages a future with an underwater restaurant, hotel and conference centre, as well as research and other activities related to the energy and destination sectors.

The port also has the potential to become an attraction in its own right. The plans could generate significant wider economic benefits for the whole region, not just by creating new jobs on Askøy and in the rest of the region. He believes that the Bergen region, led by Askøy, can become a world-leader in sustainable development.

“From a global perspective, a zero-emission port like this creates enormous possibilities. Not only will it help to electrify shipping and tourism, it will also enable green development throughout the region, as well as making us an attractive location for other industries”, says Rygg.

A coastal municipality that wants green growth

Kildn is located in Askøy Municipality, which has a stated political goal of improving maritime passenger services. The municipality wants to encourage the use of renewable and alternative energy sources. Moreover, the municipality wants to attract new, green industries, as well as green jobs.

“Kildn wants to help it meet all of these important goals. However, this will not happen automatically, and the various stakeholders involved in taking the concept further must dedicate the necessary resources to it over the long term. A project like Kildn will make an important contribution to meeting the municipality’s goal of green growth”, says Rygg.

Not worried about the cruise industry’s future

In April, an analysis by Menon Economics estimated that businesses in Bergen would lose out on up to NOK 750 million if the summer season were to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Of course some people have asked us whether now is the right time to launch a port project. But we’re thinking long-term. I’m sure we’ll learn lots from the pandemic, which we will incorporate into our plans for the new port. At the same time, we have listened to the Norwegian and international cruise and tourism industry, and although there is great uncertainty about how it will be affected, everyone we have spoken to is busy adapting to the new normal. They are also investing in the transition to a greener economy, which is another area where we think Kildn can play a big role. I’m not worried”, says Rygg.

According to a survey performed by Innovation Norway, cruise passengers spend NOK 1.8 billion in Norway over the course of the summer season.


Turning vision into reality

“All projects start out as a vision. The Bergen Light Rail system and the Bergen Line also started out as visions. Yes, this project is ambitious, but we are absolutely serious in our belief that it can be realised. It is vital for this to be a sustainable project, otherwise there’s no point in us implementing it. In order to have any chance of building a new port, both the local and national authorities will require it to be a green, forward-looking project. We don’t have all of the answers yet, but we believe that we have reached a good starting point for discussion. Kildn can be a catalyst for the right kind of development, but we’ll have to see if there is the political will to explore the project further. We are ready”, concludes Rygg.

About the port

  • Quays covering a total area of 95,000 m2 and 55,000 m2 of public spaces.
  • Capacity to receive almost 20,000 cruise passengers per day.
  • Will generate, store and distribute its own energy using solar panels, battery storage technology and thermal energy taken from a depth of 100 metres in the sea.
  • These energy systems will provide enough power for shore power and to charge electric vessels.
  • Will comprise a hotel, cafés, restaurants and other services related to shipping and the energy sector.
  • The project is the brain child of Tertnes Holding AS, and the site will be developed by the property developers Rexir Holding.
  • COWI has developed the concept study for Kildn
  • The project will be financed using a partnership model between the stakeholders.
  • EY is working on developing various business models for the project.

Contact person
Filip Rygg, CEO Rexir Holding, Tel. no.: +47 91849610,