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i-maritime news letter

Kochi port offers onshore power to berthed ships - 2012-02-13

Ships calling at Kochi Port may soon be able to save on energy consumption as the Port Authority has started offering onshore power to berthed ships. This will also reduce emissions from ships as the berthed ship can switch of their engines. The move is part of the port's efforts to comply with the guidelines on climate initiatives relating to shipping and to reduce air pollution. The port authorities, on an experimental basis, have started supplying onshore power to ships berthed at the port. The first one to get the on-shore energy was the cruise vessel Amet Majesty, which operates from Kochi as the home port. The power was provided using generators. The shipping company reportedly informed the port that they could save Rs 60,000 a day on fuel cost following the use of on-shore power, the port officials said. This initiative is in compliance with the guidelines on climate initiatives related to shipping issued by the International Maritime Organisation. The officials pointed out that ships berthed at the port for a longer spell (more than three days is considered as a longer spell) will be supplied power from the shore till the ships leave the port. During the period, auxillary engine of the ships, which runs to operate the systems, will be turned off to reduce diesel consumption.
Turning off the engine during the berthing time will help reduce air pollution and air emissions such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxidants also. Noise levels are also reduced in the case of larger vessels. The IMO has focused on reducing the environmental impacts of shipping through its legislations since the 80's. The IMO's convention MARPOL Annexe VI, which limits the amount of pollutants in marine fuels came into effect in 2005. As of today, there is no specific regulation insisting the use of onshore power supply. However, ports over the world have started initiatives in creating provision for onshore power supply in the direction of IMO's general objectives, the port officials said. There are also plans to provide the facility to Lakshadweep bound vessels from Kochi. When a ship is berthed at the port, it needs power for various purposes which included air conditioning system and for loading and unloading operations for cranes and lifts. Usually, merchant ships do not have a longer stay at ports and they work on the power generated internally through diesel powered generators. However, the officials clarified that it will take some more time to extend the onshore power supply facility to ships at Vallarpadam terminal, as the port has to enhance its electrical infrastructure. A study by an international shipping registry revealed that there are around 50,000 merchant vessels across the globe using 411,223,484 tonnes of fuel annually. A single ship can produce emissions equivalent to that of 50 million cars annually.

Source: Hindu Business Line