Revolution in shore power supply for cruise ships

LNG HYBRID barge: Innovative project combines gangway with energy supply system

Together with Aida Cruises, Becker Marine Systems initiated the innovative project for the world's first LNG HYBRID barge (ocean-going vessel) to supply cruise ships with electricity while they are in the harbour. To date, no shore-based power supply for cruise ships has been implemented in Europe, with the exception of Hamburg. Implementing a permanently installed system is generally time-consuming and cost-intensive and has so far been avoided by the ports.


  • What was needed: Energy supply system, iglidur plain bearing
  • Requirements: Tide, wave formation and barge movement, IEC 80005, weathering effects
  • Industry: Shore power
  • Success for the customer: Energy supply system developed by igus with maritime approval, maintenance-free system thanks to plain bearings
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To supply power to a cruise ship, the LNG HYBRID barge must be connected to an appropriate connection box on the terminal site. For this purpose, 4 power cables + 1 neutral conductor + 2 control cables + 1 optical cable must be transferred ashore. This requires a regular tide (change in water level) of approx. 3.6m, the formation of waves due to passing ships and the constant movement of the LNG HYBRID barge must be taken into account. Furthermore, the requirements of IEC 80005 and shipbuilding class requirements must be implemented in the design, and the weathering effects in the harbour must be taken into account.
The installation space on the LNG HYBRID barge was severely restricted and posed a grave challenge during development.


On behalf of Becker Marine Systems, igus developed the first ever energy supply system with maritime approval from the Bureau Veritas classification society for connecting the LNG HYBRID barge to the connection platform or connection box at the berth in Magdeburg harbour. The energy supply system also serves as a gangway or access way to the barge. The system consists of the following assemblies: base frame, lifting element, tilting frame, swivel bearing, telescopic gear, energy chain (with cables and connectors). So that the system is as low-maintenance as possible, the bearings were accordingly equipped with additional igus components, e.g. the iglidur® plain bearing.

LNG HYBRID barge bearings Bearing points with additional iglidur plain bearings
LNG HYBRID barge plug Connection point for the energy supply connectors