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Sydney will offer shore-side power to cruise ships by 2024

Harmful emissions from cruise ships at White Bay will be a thing of the past within the next two years.

Many northern hemisphere ports are fitted with shore-side power.

White Bay Cruise Terminal in Sydney will be equipped with shore power capability by the end of 2024, allowing visiting vessels to switch off their engines while docked and removing toxic emissions from wafting over surrounding communities.

NSW Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney, David Elliott, said the NSW Government’s shore power project was progressing at a rate of knots, with stage one providing for a single live power site at White Bay and another for bulk carriers at Glebe Island freight terminal.

“This is an exciting step forward and another significant milestone the Port Authority has achieved for the highly complex power project and moving towards Net Zero by 2040,” Minister Elliott said.

The move means Sydney will become the first and only port in the southern hemisphere allowing cruise ships the option of turning off their engines while in port.

Shore power involves constructing a generator big enough for a large cruise ship.

While welcoming the progress, CLIA Australasia Managing Director, Joel Katz, said more ports and governments around the world needed to invest in similar infrastructure.

CLIA member ocean-going cruise lines have committed to be sailing with net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Cruise lines are determined to be leaders in reducing emissions in the maritime sector and shoreside electricity is an important part of the industry’s pursuit of zero-carbon cruising,” Katz said.

“Right now, 40% of global cruise line capacity is fitted to operate on shoreside electricity where facilities are available, which is a 20% increase on last year.

“Of the CLIA member new-build cruise ships due for launch by 2028, 98% will either be fitted to operate on shoreside electricity or will be configured to add shoreside power in the future.”

By 2035, all CLIA member lines have committed to equip all ships with the ability to connect to shore-side power, where available, however many were already able to do so.

The Port Authority of NSW has already entered into a Power Purchase Agreement for the new infrastructure which sees all electricity used at White Bay and Glebe Island offset in full by clean and green energy.

“Our Net Zero targets will prevent the same amount of carbon from entering our atmosphere as planting more than 90,000 trees every year,” said Port Authority CEO, Phil Holliday.

“For the next two years we will focus on progressing the shore power project for The Bays area and creating a world-class integrated and sustainable port of the future.”

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 11 November 2022

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