The Port Authority of New South Wales will re-examine its position on the economic feasibility of implementing shore power for cruise vessels across the state.
In the wake of a growing number of ports around the world considering shore power as an emissions control strategy, the state-owned corporation says it will commission a supplementary report on whether shore power is now a cost-effective strategy for White Bay Cruise Terminal.
A feasibility study found three years ago that ship-to-shore power was too expensive, which led the state government in 2017 to rule it out due to the $36 million cost of installing the technology.
Cruise ships docking at White Bay Cruise Terminal currently have to keep their engines running, because it lacks an on-shore power source.
According to multiple reports, this has seen longstanding complaints from locals on the impact of air pollutants and noise impacts from cruise ships berthing at the terminal.
In a statement, The Greens’ Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker, said the number of ports with shore power has “doubled globally” since the 2017 port authority report.
“While our government has been dithering on this issue, cities like New York, Shanghai, Hamburg and Vancouver have taken measures to protect residents from cruise ship pollution,” Parker said.
“Australia is now one of the only major cruising port cities with not one shore power facility.
“The government is bending over backwards for the cruise ship companies who want to keep shore power out of Sydney so they have somewhere to send their oldest, dirtiest ships.”
A Port Authority spokesperson told Travel Weekly the supplementary report, to be released during 2020, will consider recent international implantation of shore power.
“Internationally, an increasing number of ports are considering, or have adopted, shore power as an emissions control strategy,” the spokesperson said.
“In addition, cruise industry groups and cruise lines have adopted positions onshore power and an increasing number of cruise ships are able to connect.”
As of 2019, the cruise industry had invested US$1 billion ($1.5 billion) in technologies aimed at reducing air emissions, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Among these is using shore power where available.
To date 55 cruise ships (over 27 per cent of total capacity) are fitted with shore-side electricity systems and are able to use shore power where available, the cruise industry body said in a statement.