Senator Mary-Claire Hurst, the Port Chairman of Antigua and Barbuda, revealed ambitious plans to transform the country’s port into the first green energy port in the Caribbean.
The visionary initiative aims at decarbonizing the port and mitigating the environmental impact of maritime activities.
Speaking passionately about the future plans, Senator Hurst outlined the key strategies during a recent address.
The central focus of the project involves the installation of solar panels and the construction of an energy storage facility.
These elements are crucial for storing excess energy, which will be harnessed to provide shoreside electric power to vessels through a process known as “cold ironing.”
“Cold ironing is the process of providing shoreside electric power to a ship at birth. When a ship is docked, we will request them to turn off all auxiliary power, and we will supply them with power from our stored green energy,” explained Senator Hurst.
“This innovative approach not only promotes sustainability but also presents a lucrative opportunity for the port. By offering cold ironing services, we will generate revenue while significantly improving air quality, particularly in and around the port areas.”
The senator emphasized the environmental benefits of the initiative, pointing out the visible reduction in carbon emissions associated with vessels in harbor.
“When a vessel is in harbor, you often see black smoke emanating from the top. With our cold ironing solution, we aim to eliminate this sight by encouraging vessels to switch off their auxiliary power and rely on our green energy supply,” stated Senator Hurst.
“This proactive step will contribute significantly to the reduction of carbon emissions and help lower our carbon footprints.”
The presentation included visuals showcasing the planned setup, with a ship in the harbor connected to the shore-side power source.
Senator Hurst highlighted the significance of Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority’s pioneering role in the Eastern Caribbean, setting the stage for other ports to follow suit.
“As the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority, we are proud to lead the way in the Eastern Caribbean with our commitment to sustainable practices. Our mission is not only to enhance our operations but also to serve as a beacon for environmental responsibility in the maritime industry,” Senator Hurst asserted.
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