Sydney port to provide 100% renewable power to docked ships

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On Monday, the Port Authority of NSW announced it will invest $60 million to develop a landside renewable electricity supply for docked ships to plug into at its White Bay port area in Sydney’s inner west, commonly known as Bays Port.

The initiative is called Shore Power and is set for completion in 2024. It will supply both cargo and cruise ships, fitting four connection points for bulk ships at Glebe Island and one at the White Bay Cruise Terminal.

The ships will be able to use the green power to carry out operations while they’re docked, including unpacking cargo and providing electricity, allowing them to power down their auxiliary diesel engines.

While onshore power supplies for ships are commonplace in North America, Europe, and China, the project will mark the first shore-powered cruise port berth in the southern hemisphere and a world-first for a dry-bulk precinct.

With 99% of Australia’s trade arriving by sea, the Port Authority of NSW says the Bays Port Project will have a significant impact on emissions, while also reducing fumes and noise for the densely populated Sydney suburbs near the port.

The plan is part of the Port Authority’s target to cut its carbon emissions by 75% by 2030, and achieve net zero by 2040.

The Port Authority did not provide information about where the renewable power would be sourced from, presumably through a power purchasing agreement (PPA), though it did say the green electricity would be certified.

The plan is supported by the bulk shipping and cruise industries, with numerous partners including Cement Australia, The CSL Group, Royal Caribbean Group, MSC Cruises, and Carnival Australia which includes P&O Cruises Australia, signing a joint letter of intent to use the facilities. The industry partners will also be investing to retrofit their vessels or scheduling their existing fleet to be ready to connect to the Shore Power facilities.

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