A new approach for Turkish ports to reduce ship emissions case study : application of cold ironing system for Marport container terminal / by Nurullah Peksen

Nurullah H. Peksen, World Maritime University


Maritime transport is the most environmentally friendly type of transport mode. However, air pollution and greenhouse gases from ship emissions are increasing because of the growing maritime traffic. These exhaust emissions cause global warming, acid rain and a reduction in air quality which has serious adverse effects on human health. Particularly as a specialized agency of the United Nations with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships, International Maritime Organization has dealt with reducing ship emissions on a global basis by adapting “The Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships” as Annex VI of Marpol Convention in 1997. Turkey has also ratified Annex VI on 26th February 2013, and in accordance with Annex VI, the Turkish Maritime Authority is planning to establish an Emission Control Area (ECA), which will cover probably the Sea of Marmara and Turkish Straits. These areas are placed in the centre of the global trade routes between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea and have coasts with very crowded cities which have growing economies. Nearly 50,000 ships are passing through the Turkish Straits every year. These straits are surrounded by inhabited areas with almost 20 million people. On the other hand, according to the latest revision of the Turkish Regulation on Reduction of Sulphur Rate in Some Types of Fuel Oils, inland vessels and all the vessels at berth, regardless of their flag, are obliged to use marine fuels with sulphur content not more than 0.1% by mass, by 1st of January 2012. So vessels are not allowed to consume any fuel oil containing more than 0.1% sulphur during port activities in the Marmara Sea. During the last two decades, different technologies have been tested in ports in order to reduce ship emissions. One of them is known as the cold ironing system which provides ships to use shore-side electricity as onshore electric power supply instead of working auxiliary engines while ships are lifting at berth. In this system, emission from ships during berthing are completely eliminated by using electrical power from national grid as alternative energy source rather than fuel oils which are necessary for combustion process in auxiliary engines to generate electricity. To sum up, this study will discuss the cold ironing system as the most economically and environmentally friendly solution on the reduction of ship emissions from the aspect of Turkish port operators while ships are at berth based on a case study for Marport Container Terminal, which is the biggest private container port in the Sea of Marmara. In the case study, by using data of ships calling Marport within 2012, the total emission from ships, environment impact of the emissions on air quality and climate change, and externalities on health costs and others have been discussed. From the financial side, investment costs of cold ironing systems for container ports have been analysed with the investment return period by using the Net Present Value method.