Port of Galveston to “greenify” operations with new eco-programs

One of the major ports in Texas, the Port of Galveston, has announced its plans to make long-term changes to its operations as part of new environmental programs.

Guided by Green Marine, a voluntary environmental program for North America’s maritime industry, the port staff is researching, planning and implementing a number of environmental programs.

The port has teamed up with Texas A&M University at Galveston on an extensive study that includes the port’s costs to install shore power infrastructure, estimated demand over the next 5-10 years and financing opportunities.

When docked, ships are typically powered by diesel auxiliary engines, which produce air emissions. Shore power, which allows ships to plug in to the local electricity grid and turn off those engines, is a cleaner alternative. While it brings environmental benefits, shore power involves significant infrastructure investments and other costs,” the port authority stated.

Separate from the study, it has also partnered with Royal Caribbean International (RCI) to determine the feasibility of providing shore power to RCI ships at the new cruise terminal being built and set to open in 2022 at Pier 10.

Built by RCI and owned by the port, the terminal would be among few projects in Galveston to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental certification standards.

Finally, the port has set out a plan to fully transition within 5 years to electricity providers that use sustainable power sources to reduce its carbon footprint.

Last year, Houston-based energy solutions company Pilot LNG revealed its plan to build “the region’s first dedicated bunkering terminal”, Galveston LNG Bunker Port, which would be located on Pelican Island.

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Announcing the new project, Pilot LNG said that the Galveston Bay area ‘is an ideal location to add LNG bunkering infrastructure with over 10,500 deep-water vessel visits in 2019, over 133,000 tug/tow movements on the Houston Ship Channel, and the nation’s fourth busiest cruise terminal’.