Air emissions from ships in port: Does regulation make a difference?

Miluse Tichavska
Beatriz Tovar
Daria Gritsenko
Lasse Johansson
Jukka Pekka Jalkanen


Vessel operations at port play a particular role in port-related air emissions. Hotelling, manoeuvring and cruising operations in the harbour areas generate a large share of local and global pollution, external costs and public health issues. Emission abatement demands effective regulation for vessel compliance and enforcement adequacy in despite of geographic differences in jurisdiction. A connecting relation between regulatory frameworks and atmospheric pollution from vessels operations at port is so far, missing in literature.

This paper aims at filling in this gap by addressing exhaust gasses (NOx, SOx, CO, CO2) and particles (PM2.5) released from operative vessels in port with differing regulatory frameworks (Las Palmas, St. Petersburg, and Hong Kong). Estimations are based on the Ship Traffic Emission Assessment Model (STEAM) and AIS traffic information over a twelve-month timeframe. Contribution of this paper relates to revealing emission patterns of vessel operations in port and the assessment of current regulatory frameworks. Results and lower emission profiles shed light to sulphur regulation differences and the potential benefits in new policy measures (polluter pays principle, cold ironing and others) of accounting operative modes and shipping sub-sectors.