Scrubber Technology Supersedes Shore Power

By MarEx 2014-06-03 11:52:00

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is committed to protecting and improving the air quality in and around Victoria’s harbour. GVHA has been assessing the feasibility and air quality impact of shore power for plugging cruise ships into the electrical grid in Victoria. Given recent advancements and investments in new on-board technology and the implementation of regulations to improve air quality, installing shore power is not an effective solution for Ogden Point. 

“Environmental protection is a priority for GVHA and we are committed to working with the cruise industry and federal regulators to mitigate air quality impacts,” said President & Chief Executive Officer, Curtis Grad. “The best solution to meet regulatory requirements and protect local air quality, both in port and at berth, is on-board scrubber technology. Shore power is a very cost prohibitive investment with limited benefits for ports-of-call like Victoria.” 

Air quality monitoring in James Bay demonstrates that elevated levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), although infrequent, generally occur when ships are maneuvering in and out of port under their own engine power. As such, shore power only has a positive impact when ships are already berthed. Federal regulators have mandated changes within the industry through the creation of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA). The ECA requires the use of lower sulphur fuels, or equivalent means such as scrubber technology, to meet prescribed emissions targets. Technological advancements will ensure continuity of good air quality while ships are within the vicinity of Victoria harbor, not just at berth. Other factors that affect the viability of shore power include shorter length-of-stays in Victoria, as a port-of-call versus home ports, the time required to plug the ships in when at berth and the potential for reduced flexibility of the facility to accommodate next generation vessels in the future. 

At an estimated cost of $9.5+ million, one side of one pier at Ogden Point could be outfitted, servicing less than one third of total cruise calls. The benefits are limited relative to cost and effectiveness. 

“Industry commitments to cleaner fuel and on-board scrubber technology have eclipsed shore power as a viable air quality strategy for Victoria,” Grad continued. “Given that the vast majority of cruise ships.

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