The shipping industry across the globe is a growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change.
According to the International Maritime Organization greenhouse gas report, Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
To curb greenhouse emissions, the Maritime Technology Corporation Centre for Africa (MTCC Africa) domiciled at JKUAT, funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Maritime Organization through the Global MTCCs Network, plays an important role in building capacity to mitigate climate change in the African shipping and maritime industry.
The Centre, through a consortium partnership with Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), promotes the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in the maritime sector through a number of pilot projects.
“One of MTCC Africa’s recently concluded pilot projects in early 2020 was on the promotion of the uptake of port energy-efficient technologies and operations within the African ports including the Mombasa port through a tier 2 level audit,” said MTCC Africa Project Lead, Ms. Lydia Ngugi.
Ms. Ngugi said, in collaboration with African maritime countries, the Centre set out to improve the capability in the region by working with maritime administrations, port authorities, government departments and shipping industry stakeholders in facilitating compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships.
At the Mombasa port, Kenya Ports Authority has been at the forefront in developing energy-efficient innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime shipping industry. This was partly informed by the fuel consumption and emissions data collection and reporting, which seeks to quantify the impact of greenhouse gases from the shipping industry at the Mombasa port.
KPA’s Engineer Dennis Mulwa who is also MTCC Africa’s expert on Energy Efficiency, said the objective of developing the energy-efficient initiative at the port was to ensure energy-efficient operations in the activities carried out at the port.
“MTCC Africa has been instrumental in building the capacity and raising awareness about policies, strategies and energy efficiency measures for the reduction of greenhouse emissions from various ports in Africa,” said Eng. Mulwa.
The Engineer noted that, guided by the Green Port Policy and the data collected from the fuel consumption and emission data collection and reporting pilot project, KPA came up with a number of energy-efficient initiatives to ensure the port operations are effective and sustainable.
The initiatives include; installation of a solar power plant with a combined capacity of over 1 Mega Watts supplied to the power grid; retrofitting high consuming power lights with LED lamps that produce less carbon; installation of efficient air conditioners that use less energy; tad boats that are shore power ready; and use of rubber-tyred gantry cranes that use less diesel fuel in operations.
To achieve the mandate of MTCC Africa, Eng. Mulwa said all the ports in the East Coast sea line should implement shore power and have the facility ready for connection to enhance the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions thus realizing environmental conservation.
MTCC Africa is part of the Global Network of Centres of Excellence promoting the uptake of low carbon technologies and energy-efficient practices in the maritime and shipping industry.
The Centre focuses on technical co-operation, capacity building and technology transfer, sharing their results and experiences throughout the network to ensure a common approach to a global issue. “Innovative programs and projects are being developed and carried out by MTCCs across the globe, designed to promote energy-efficient technologies and operations,” concludes Ms. Ngugi.