Waigaoqiao Port, Shanghai to Provide Cold-Ironing Service for Berthing Ships

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The increase in maritime shipping and environmental pollution concerns have created a demand for ship-to-shore power solutions, that comply with environmental restrictions in ports and harbors.  In a move to reduce the excess of high sulphur bunker fuels being burnt at the port and  improve air quality in surrounding areas, the Chinese Shanghai port in an eco-partnership with the US port of Los Angeles, have signed a development plan that will go into action in a month’s time.

This is to be a 3-year shore power program, to expand shoreside power at Shanghai’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal. The project is expected to be completed by 2017.  The LA Port will make the knowledge transfer in terms of rules, regulations, policies and standards, rates and incentive programs to promote the cold-ironing program.  The program can later be extended to develop the Yangshan Deepwater Port (Phase III). According to news sources, six cold-ironing sets shall be used to power 12 berths.

The Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission (SMTC), which oversees Shanghai port, was optimistic of the outcome in terms of port development and better air quality with far-reaching benefits.  “Cold-ironing” is a process of ships shutting down onboard power generation and plugging into shore-side power while in the berth.  This helps to reduce air pollution by 39% in areas surrounding the ports.  This method has proven to remove more than three tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 350 pounds of particulate matter from the air for every ship that is “plugged in”.

The STC has released their pollution study findings that show 12% of Shanghai’s total sulphur dioxide emissions come from ships, 11% of that figure are nitrogen oxide emissions and around 5% are particulate matter emissions.

The Shanghai transport commission has thus set a target of 7% reduction in energy consumption via the cargo throughput and a cut by 9% of CO2 emission and a 20% reduction in particulate matter.  The port plans to encourage vessels to use LNG and plan to develop LNG bunkering.

The commission plans to prevent old vessels from working on the waterways of Shanghai in order to curb emissions.  They also intend to call for new and stricter set of standards for bunker fuels, details of which are yet to be released.

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