Sydney to green its ports with renewable shore power plan


The Port Authority of New South Wales, Sydney, has revealed a plan to build the world’s first 100% renewable energy shore-powered shipping precinct.

The decision came five years after the state government ruled out shore power in 2017, since a feasibility study found it too expensive. The Port Authority is now intending to convert the Bays Port in the center of Sydney to introduce shore power for cruise ships and bulk carriers arriving at the port.

Glebe Island and White Bay are part of the Bay Ports zone, which will be the first bulk cargo precinct totally powered by shore power, according to the statement.

The government will bring the capabilities to the White Bay Cruise Terminal as part of the project, which it said will be the first shore-powered cruise berth in the Southern Hemisphere. The power will be sourced from renewable resources, according to the release, but the sources were not specified.

Shore power is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While ships dock at port, they require a certain amount of energy to maintain heating, cooling, and other essential vessel functions, which is typically provided by running the ships’ diesel-fueled auxiliary engine. Shore power system, by providing electrical power from the shore to a ship, allows the ships to turn off auxiliary engine and cease the burning of diesel fuel, thereby reduce emissions and improve air quality.

Under the agreement, the Port Authority of NSW, in collaboration with the government, would invest over 60 million Australian dollars (US$45 million) in infrastructure to enable the conversion to shore power in the region

According to the release, using shore power in the Bays Port is expected to cut 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over 12 months, equivalent to removing over 4,000 vehicles off the road or planting over 70,000 trees every year.

The Port Authority of NSW published in 2017 a feasibility report, in which it pointed out that the cost of creating shore power would be prohibitive for the port, with a cost of AU$2 million (US$1.48 million) to adapt cruise ships to use shore power and AU$1 million (US$740,000) for the conversion of a typical bulk carrier.

Nonetheless, high-voltage cables will be placed in the area to support an expansion of Sydney's metro system, which will also improve the port's shore power capabilities.

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