North European Ports to Make Cruise Industry Greener

Illustration; Image Courtesy: AIDA Cruises

Ten North European ports have joined forced to find solutions to make the growing cruise industry greener through a three-year project.

The project, which will focus on finding a practical and commercial way to supply cruise ships with green energy, was launched as the cruise ship market is predicted to grow 3.3 percent by 2030, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Led by the Hamburg Port Authority, EU Interreg project includes Hamburg Cruise Center, Rostock Port, Freeport of Riga Authority, Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, Maritime Institute in Gdansk, and the ports of Bergen, Tallin, Helsinki and Esbjerg.

With a budget of EUR 2.9 million, the project has the aim of examining how the ports can help cruise ship operators become greener and more sustainable.

“The rapid growth of the cruise industry makes it interesting for the ports, but the industry’s growth poses certain challenges as well, particularly in relation to neighbouring areas. All ports face these same challenges, so the idea is to collaborate on finding solutions. In an ideal world, cruise ships should meet the same standards and rules in every port,” Ingo Fehrs, Senior Adviser Port Strategy of the Hamburg Port Authority, said.

A detailed account of ways the ports can help enhance sustainability in the cruise shipping sector is set to be presented at the project’s closing conference in 2019, Fehrs said, adding that the project would look at areas where more regulation is needed.

Shortly after the ten ports met at the opening conference in Hamburg on October 27, 2016, the environmental committee of the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) set the implementation date for the new global sulphur emission regulations to 2020.

The new regulations impose stricter requirements on the shipping industry and lower the cap on sulphur content of marine fuels from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent.

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