MTCC Africa > Pilot Project I

Pilot Project I: Uptake of Low Carbon Technologies through provision of On Shore Power Supply (OPS) at the Port of Mombasa

The shipping industry has of late been faced with “Tidal Waves” of environmental regulations and strict compliance requirements. These regulations extend not only to vessels while at sea, but also while staying in ports. Ships burn diesel to run their auxiliary engines to produce power for hotelling, loading and unloading activities while onshore. Shore power avails itself as a potential substitute and a way to partially mitigate the strict and costly regulation requirements.

MTCC-Africa, through the sponsorship of Kenya Ports Authority, plans to install a shore power facility at the port to supply sea going vessels with shore power during their stay at the port on a pilot basis. This project will help in data collection and analysis of the viability of Onshore power supply in Kenya. The overall fuel quantity consumed by these vessels while in port will be compared to the total cost of these bunkers Vis a vis the cost of grid power and the social cost of carbon to determine the overall project viability. Main challenges in the implementation of shore power is mostly the frequency disparities between the vessel power systems and the utility supplier frequency. Other challenges include the different voltage levels required of different vessel types and the large variance in power requirements by sea going vessels, ranging from less than 1MW in some bulk carriers to over 12MW in large cruise vessels. However, the breakthrough in International standards on OPS, the lack of which has been a draw back in OPS implementation, was realized in July 2012 with the launching of IEC/ISO/IEEE 80005-1 international standards.

These standard describes the specifications required for  high voltage shore connection (HVSC) systems on board the ship and on shore for the supply of ship with electrical power from shore. The standard is applicable to the design, installation and testing of HVSC systems and addresses:

  • HV shore distribution systems;
  • shore-to-ship connection and interface equipment;
  • transformers/reactors;
  • semiconductor/rotating convertors;
  • ship distribution systems; and
  • control, monitoring, interlocking and power management systems.

The amount of air emissions produced by marine engines is directly related to total fuel oil consumption. For economic reasons, many shipping vessels use heavy fuel oil with high sulfur content. The sulfur content of standard marine fuel is conservatively 2,700 times higher than that of conventional diesel for cars. Heavy fuel oil is responsible for the following air emissions:

  1. Particulate matter (PM) – PM 10, particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 µm
  2. PM 2.5, particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 µm
  3. Nitrogen oxides, NOX (NO and NO2)
  4. Sulfur oxide, SOX (SO2)
  5. Carbon oxide (CO) and Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  6. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene

According to the Global Logistics Indicators (2016), developing countries take longer to process trade transactions than the developed nations. The effect of this is the longer time it takes to make ready the cargo handling procedures once the ship is at the berth. This results in long Average Service Times (AST), high Berth Occupancy Rates (BORs) and high Average Grade of Waiting (AGW) for the port. The main determinant of the ship pollution effect while at the port is the time it takes while at the berth (AST). The longer the time at berth, the longer auxiliary engines are run, the more fuel is consumed in running these engines and hence the more the environmental pollution impacts.

Currently, the electricity demand in Kenya is 1427 MW. The effective installed capacity under average hydrological conditions is 1,797 MW. Generation shares from hydro, geothermal, baggase (cogeneration) and wind are 46.5%, 15.5%, 1.3% and 0.3% respectively while fossil based thermal contributes around 36.4% of the electricity mix in the country. The country has over 20 geothermal prospects with a capacity to produce over 10,000MW clean power which are being evaluated for exploitation. Courtesy of the shift of power production to green sources from the utility suppliers, sufficient installed power capacity at the port of Mombasa, relatively long average service times (AST) and a growing number of ships visiting the port, (then) the conditions necessary for implementation of onshore power supply are fulfilled. The momentum towards sustainable shipping should be a concerted effort between all players in the industry. Ports, as key interface players in the supply chain management,have a duty to fully participate in this worthy cause. The port of Mombasa has a green port policy and currently involved in green initiatives to ensure sustainable operations. With the provision of a pilot shore power facility, shipping lines which have committed to participate in this project will benefit not only from improved EEOI and SEEMP but also with reduced operational costs from incentives proposed during the study period.