Road & Rail

Bus service could use cruise ship waste as fuel to meet zero-emissions targets

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

A Canadian shuttle bus service has proposed using cruise ship waste as fuel to meet its zero-emissions targets.

British Colombia-based shuttle service, Pacific Northwest Transportation Services (PNWTS), has proposed using organic waste from cruise ships to create fuel for its buses, in order to meet its 2026 targets for zero-emissions.

PNWTS runs cruise ship shuttle services between ships and tourism destinations at the Ogden Point Terminal, a deep-water port facility found in the southwestern corner of the city of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Ogden Point is currently the busiest cruise ship port-of-call in Canada, with some 243 cruise ships and 640,000 passengers welcomed in 2018, according to the port terminal authority, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

In an October emissions report commissioned by the port authority, however, it was revealed that alongside its record growth in passengers and cruise ship arrivals, Ogden Point’s carbon footprint has increased 19.1 per cent since 2010.

The largest contributor to the port’s 11,686 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018 were cruise ships (96 per cent). The remaining 3 per cent mostly included ground transportation from local tour operators, according to the authority.

In response to stricter requests for environmental action in the cruise industry by the city council, PNWTS has proposed introducing additional electric buses to its fleet.

“Now our goal is to have five zero-emission shuttle busses by 2023,” David Roberts, general manager of PNWTS said, as reported by Victoria News. “We plan to have the rest of the fleet done by 2026.”

To make this happen, the company wants to create hydrogen fuel cell buses fuelled by organic waste from cruise ships. According to Victoria News, this waste would then be converted into methane gas in order to extract hydrogen, which would be used to power the buses.

A company hired by PNWTS is reportedly figuring out the mechanisms behind this process.

The Mayor of the City of Victoria, Lisa Helps, told Black Press Media she was impressed with the idea, and that jobs were not at risk.

“The private sector is bright and innovative,” Helps told the outlet. “The industry is responding; it’s about creating jobs in a more sustainable way.”

Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess, Holland America Line’s MS Eurodam and Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder will dock at Ogden Point in 2020, according to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

Featured image: PNWTS bus in front of cruise ship (Western Stevedoring)

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