In a world-first, India’s dozen major ports now run fully on renewable energy

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on February 12, 2020 Published on February 12, 2020

Representational Image

The state-owned ports also offer shore-power to ships to cut costs and emissions

The dozen state-owned major ports in the country have switched to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first nation to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy.

Under a ‘green port’ initiative, the Shipping Ministry had directed all the major ports to install grid-connected and roof-top solar and wind power projects to facilitate day-to-day operations including supplying shore-power to visiting ships in an eco-friendly manner.

The 12 state-owned ports are Deendayal Port Trust, Mumbai Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, New Mangalore Port Trust, Mormugao Port Trust, Cochin Port Trust, Chennai Port Trust, VO Chidambaranar Port Trust, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, Kolkata Port Trust and Kamarajar Port Ltd.

Shore-power savings

Shore-power, also known as cold ironing or alternative maritime power, enables ships at dock or in dry dock to use shore-side electricity to power on-board electrical systems, such as lighting, ventilation, communication, cargo pumps and other critical equipment, while turning off their auxiliary engines.

The electricity comes from the local power grid through a substation at the port and is plugged into special power connectors in the shore-power system on the ship.

Shore-power is considered an important way to cut emissions and save costs for shipping companies. It is also a quicker and cheaper short-term solution for allowing shipping companies to meet emissions targets – particularly those related to emission control areas.

Emissions from ships at berth is estimated to be approximately 10 times greater than those from the ports' own operations. “So, there is a greater potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships in ports than from port activities on the land-side,” a Ministry official said.

Ships when berthed at port, though not propelling, still consume a large amount of energy to meet various functions during their port stay. This could be for running the ships' auxiliary power for ventilation of accommodation, loading and unloading of cargo, provisions and spares, cooking, etc. Running these on fuel-powered generators results in noise, vibrations and emissions in the ports.

The supply of shore-side electricity to ships (all types of vessels) at ports can reduce emissions, noise and vibrations, and is therefore considered environment friendly.

The government has enabled the major ports to develop the necessary infrastructure to supply shore electric power to all types of ships during the period of their port stay.

Lowering costs

Using renewable energy also helps ports cut power bills - a key operating cost - which in turn translates into lower vessel- and cargo-related charges.

India’s maritime administration has framed standard operating procedures (SOP) for shore electric power supply to ships in Indian ports that presently cover only a low power supply – up to 150 kW at low voltage.

“Once a port is ready with high voltage supply to meet any power demand of a ship, a new SOP will be issued,” a Ministry official said.

Published on February 12, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.