Cruise ships at Ogden Point tower above pedestrians and scuba divers walking along the breakwater. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, which manages the facilities, plans to install shore power in future as a way to reduce the ships’ emissions while in port. (Black Press Media file photo)

Cruise ships at Ogden Point tower above pedestrians and scuba divers walking along the breakwater. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, which manages the facilities, plans to install shore power in future as a way to reduce the ships’ emissions while in port. (Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority planning for greener future

Decision to pursue shore power a step toward significantly reducing cruise ship emissions

COVID-19 and the uncertainty around the future of the cruise industry makes putting a time frame on the installation of shore power facilities at Ogden Point almost impossible.

Nonetheless, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson is thrilled with the GVHA board’s recent decision to move forward on the estimated $24.8-million project, which aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cruise operations at the terminal.

Giving appropriately equipped vessels the ability to shut down their engines while in port and plug in to shore power to run shipboard operations will be a major development, he said.

“It’s an important step for our organization, because it is one more step that we can take to positively impact the environment,” Robertson said. “When you consider the environment and the social responsibility, it made very good sense to go to the next step.”

The James Bay neighbourhood would benefit from reduced ambient noise from running engines, and improved air quality, he said.

RELATED STORY: 2021 Victoria cruise ship season still uncertain, says harbour authority

The decision to develop shore power at Ogden Point comes after completion of an emissions inventory by Synergy Consulting, and a nine-month study of options for mitigating emissions from cruise ships by consultant Moffatt and Nichol, both commissioned by the GVHA.

Using measured emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, it was estimated that use of a shore power system would reduce those emissions by 56 to 59 per cent by 2040.

But further work on the project will not happen until the cruise industry stabilizes, Robertson said. “The first step will be to see how and when the industry rebounds, not just for Victoria, but globally. And secondly, when we see some certainty to cruise as we’ve known it.”

It’s estimated that by 2030, roughly 85 per cent of all ships calling on Victoria will be shore power capable – as of 2018, just 48 per cent had that technology.

“The industry is moving there to a significant degree, but shore power is still in its infancy,” Robertson said.

The viability of investing in shore power also hinges upon the cruise lines’ willingness to pay for it. The GVHA started communicating the idea pre-COVID and received their support, Robertson noted. “But now is not the time to be knocking on their door asking for money.”

ALSO READ: Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

The use of frequency conversion technology, which allows shore power electricity to be modulated at the point of connection, could provide new off-season revenue for the GVHA by encouraging cargo ships and other commercial marine carriers to tie up at Ogden Point rather than weigh anchor off the coast.

Currently, only 16 deep sea ports worldwide have shore power available, but a number of those are on the West Coast, including Vancouver, Seattle and Juneau, Alaska.

For more on the GVHA shore power project, visit gvha.ca.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cruise ShipsPollution and Air Quality

Just Posted

Saanich police used a drone to investigate a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal West Saanich Road crash

Driver who died veered across center line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Realty/Submitted)
Sidney asked to show patience about identity of would-be warehouse operator

President of York Realty says nobody is trying to hide anything

Saanich police reported an increase in violent crimes and a drop in traffic incidents in the first three months of 2021 compared to the final quarter of 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police report increase in violent crimes during first quarter of 2021

More domestic violence, less property crime and distracted driving compared to end of 2020

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry could have lessons for other provinces: lawyer

4 reports concluded the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash linked to organized crime and the drug trade impacted the province’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
‘I am not a virus’: How one postcard sparked a Vancouver Island pushback against racism

Literacy Alberni receives $50K in funding to create web-driven system for reporting racism

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Most Read