Portsmouth International Port (PIP) is keen to become the first UK port to have zero-emission operations, as outlined in the UK government’s Maritime 2050 report.
The report stated that in the next 5-15 years the UK government will aims for at least one major port in the UK to have zero-emissions across all its ship-side activity. PIP confirmed it hadn’t engaged in discussion with the government, which has not disclosed whether it has discussed the plan with any UK port so far.
“We’d like to be the first,” said port director Mike Sellers. “We're aware of the government’s plan and we're engaging with consultants at the moment to look at how we can be the first.”
Air Quality Strategy
PIP is currently working towards its first Air Quality Strategy, which all UK ports are required to have produced by December.
Formal guidance, due this spring, has not yet been issued by the government. Collaborating with the City of Portsmouth, which has its own DEFRA director, PIP is in the process of creating an action plan to include eco-efficient equipment and solar energy, but “we need that guidance first as to what the Department for Transport want,” Mr Sellers stressed.
Work to improve air quality onsite and around the port is part of a long-term strategy. PIPs main terminal building is already carbon neutral with seawater harvesting, used for toilets and heating the building, air captures that help cool the building and smart LED lighting. PIP also uses LED lighting throughout, solar panels on the warehouses, while the new Portico building, announced as part of a GB£15m investment, will have air intakes and solar panels.
Shoreside power is being looked at as a “feasible” possibility for PIP’s soon to be renovated cruise berth. Offering ships the choice of turning off their engines and cutting particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide is a huge step toward reducing overall emissions but Mr Sellers acknowledged it is a costly and difficult initiative to implement and provide adequate power.
“Shoreside power's been talked about for a long time – it’s certainly feasible,” he said. “We're looking at shoreside power as a possibility for cruise. It is a huge amount of power but we're looking at being an energy provider rather than being an energy user, so we're doing what we can to get to that level.”