Government ports need to become greener and provide shore-to-ship power

At least 12 major central government-owned ports must implement a range of measures to reduce their carbon footprint, including increasing their green coverage to 20% and electrifying all port equipment to 50% over the next seven years. They also have a goal of achieving full shore-to-ship electricity coverage by 2025, which will be the biggest measure to reduce air pollution in ports.

Sources said the Department of Shipping’s “Green Port” guidelines, to be released next week, will set benchmarks and targets for all major ports.

They added that almost 70% of air pollution in major ports is caused when ships are anchored in ports. “During the time when the ships carrying EXIM (export-import) cargo are not moving, their engines will not be shut down as several other routine activities continue. If we can power these ships more cleanly from ports, we can stop this pollution in a big way,” said one official.

The Department of Shipping will then ask all state and private ports to follow the guidelines to accelerate the decarbonization of the sector.

Officials said the carbon footprint reduction strategy will have two aspects – introducing greener technologies and practices at the port, and ensuring the power source and feeder transport system runs on cleaner fuel. For example, major ports will gradually convert or retrofit diesel equipment such as loaders, cranes and other vehicles to electric power. When procuring this equipment in the future, port authorities will have to choose between electric, methanol or hydrogen-powered machines.
Port authorities are also required to conduct an “annual environmental audit” by a credible agency and upload the reports to their website.

Sources said port authorities are also allowed to offer “green ship incentives.” Among these, vessels that use cleaner fuel and have shore power receiving equipment can receive queue priority or a discount on berth fees. Ports can also identify and incentivize truck operators that use clean fuel. Likewise, ports can provide incentives for private actors in the port project to adopt cleaner and more sustainable practices.

“The goal is to have the entire ecosystem in place. This will be a template for all ports in the country,” an official said.

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