Port of Halifax installing shore power for cruise ships

The following is the text of a news release from the Halifax Port Authority:

(HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) (Jan. 23) — The Port of Halifax will be the first port in Atlantic Canada to implement shore power for cruise ships, beginning with the 2014 cruise season.

Shore power is a highly effective way to reduce marine diesel air emissions by enabling ships to shut down their engines and connect to the electrical grid in order to provide necessary power while docked. This initiative represents the second shore power installation for cruise ships in Canada.

Today's announcement, which was made at Canada's largest East Coast port by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, Graham Steele, MLA Halifax Fairview on behalf of Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism for Nova Scotia, and Karen Oldfield, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Halifax Port Authority, represents a $10 million cooperative initiative among the Government of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Port of Halifax.

"Our government continues to make significant investments in Nova Scotia's future. We know that a thriving tourism industry is a key part of ensuring Nova Scotia's economic prosperity and we are happy to grow this sector of Nova Scotia's economy while helping the environment,” said Minister MacKay. “Be it the $25 billion federal initiative to build ships in Nova Scotia, offshore oil exploration or tourism, our government is committed to growing Nova Scotia's economy and creating more jobs."

Transport Canada will contribute up to $5 million to the project. The Province of Nova Scotia and the Port of Halifax will each contribute an additional $2.5 million.

"We know Nova Scotians want good jobs and a thriving tourism industry, and this investment represents part of our jobsHere plan to move toward a more prosperous future," said MLA Steele. "The province is supporting the businesses and workers that depend on the cruise ship industry, creating quieter and cleaner conditions for visitors and Nova Scotian families, and positioning Nova Scotia as a more attractive destination."

"The support of this project from both the federal and provincial governments will both help the environment and ensure Halifax remains a marquee port-of-call on the Canada-New England itinerary," said Ms. Oldfield. "The cruise industry is an important part of our local economy, generating an estimated $50 million per year in economic impact."

Once installed, shore power at the Port of Halifax will have immediate benefits by decreasing cruise ship idling by 7 percent, and will contribute to improved air quality and human health. This percentage is expected to increase over time as more ships equipped for shore power use the facilities. The 7 percent reduction represents an annual decrease of approximately 123,000 litres of fuel and 370,000 kg of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions.

Halifax is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and has the deepest berths on the Eastern Seaboard of North America. In 2012, the Port of Halifax generated approximately $1.5 billion in economic impact and over 11,000 port-related jobs. Annual cruise activity accounts for about eight per cent of all tourism traffic in Nova Scotia.

Funding for the Shore Power Technology for Ports Program was provided under the Clean Transportation Initiatives in Budget 2011 as part of the renewal of the Government of Canada's Clean Air Agenda. These initiatives focus on aligning Canadian regulations with those in the United States and with international standards, improving the efficiency of the transportation system, and advancing green technologies through programs such as Shore Power Technology for Ports. These initiatives will help Canada achieve its economy-wide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020.

By Professional Mariner Staff