When the first of the electric berths come online in 2024, it will allow freighters and cruise ships to “plug in” to clean up shore power to run lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration and heating in slow motion.
Shutting off their diesel generators in the port reduces emissions, air and noise pollution that bother residents of port cities. Since some of these ships are now small towns – carrying up to 6,000 guests and with numerous restaurants, entertainment centers and even mini theme parks on board – the amount of fuel they need to stay operational has raised concerns about rising pollution levels.
Competition with the new terminal in Brisbane
Australians represent the highest rate of cruise passengers per capita, with more than 1.35 million (or one in 17) taking a cruise every year – at least before the pandemic.
In 2019, around 50 international cruise ships arrived for the Southern Hemisphere cruise season, which begins in September and lasts around eight months.
NSW’s announcement is timely given that the Federal Government has approved the return of international shipping from April 17.
It also ensures that Sydney can compete with Brisbane’s new $177 million international cruise terminal. Although the Brisbane site does not have electrical charging facilities, the idea is being studied.
According to the World Ports Sustainability Report 2020, 66 ports in 16 countries provide high-voltage shore power to seagoing vessels, including the United States, Norway, Germany and China. This figure increases as new electrical ports arrive. in line.
One of the first cruise ports to go electric was Juneau in Alaska in 2001, followed by other North American ports including California and Canada. The first port in Europe to supply electricity to cruise ships was Hamburg in 2016.
Marine pollution is increasing
The entire global shipping industry, including the much larger freight component, is estimated to contribute more than 3% of total global CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a range of sources. independent organizations, including the European clean transport campaign group Transport & Environment.
In 2015, the forum warned that this figure would reach 17% by 2050 if left unchecked.
The topic of ships going electric and increasing the use of more renewable fuels such as LNG is a priority given the increase in shipping last year as air traffic was drastically reduced due to lack of passengers, as well as the closure of international borders for much of 2020.
Climate pollution from the booming international shipping industry rose by almost 5% last year, according to a new report from international shipping broker Simpson Spence & Young, which has 19 offices around the world.
Danish shipping giant Maersk is also investing in solutions, producing what it markets as the world’s first electric charging station or electric buoy offshore.
“The mission is to eliminate 5.5 million tonnes of CO2 within five years of commercial deployment, further eliminating particulates, [nitrogen oxides] and [sulfur oxides]said Sebastian Klasterer Toft, venture capital program manager at Maersk Supply Service.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corporation are the two largest cruise operators, owning most of the major cruise line brands between them. Both have pledged to be carbon neutral operations by 2050, with Royal saying it will produce its first “net zero” cruise ship by 2035.
Australia’s largest cruise line, Carnival Australia, has signed a letter of intent for cruise ships to use the White Bay cruise terminal to connect to shore-based power derived from certifiable renewable energy.
Marguerite Fitzgerald, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, said the P&O line (one of the main users of the White Bay terminal) already had a fleet of ships ready for shore power.
“The use of shore power is now common for our vessels in 21 locations around the world, such as Alaska, other North American ports in the United States and Canada, as well as Europe and China,” Ms. Fitzgerald said.
“The Port Authority of NSW Shore Power Project will be warmly welcomed by our guests and crew who share our high expectations for the adoption and practice of sustainability.”