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

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Police are asking opponents of logging near Port Renfrew not to involve their children following additional arrests Saturday. (Black Press Media File)
Police arrest eight protesters including two minors near Port Renfrew Saturday

RCMP ask parents not to involve their children in Fairy Creek logging protests

Future grads at Oak Bay High will have greater scholarship opportunities available through the Oak Bay Rotary Club. (Black Press Media file photo)
Private donor quadruples donations to Oak Bay Rotary scholarship funds

The club has awarded more than $25,000 to Oak Bay High students

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read