Balancing priorities for sustainable Cruise

18 Oct 2018

Topics included environmental impact acts, shipowners’ perspectives and port reception facilities.

GreenPort Cruise took place in Valencia, Spain, on 16 October 2018 and touched upon how the industry needs to balance a mix of priorities and investments to meet the upcoming 2020 sulphur limit. In his welcome address, Michael McCarthy, Chairman, Cruise Europe, explained how investment would be needed by ports to meet both the 2020 sulphur limit and other demands. "The diversity of new technologies means that different shipping lines are making different choices. This may imply diverse and costly port investments. The question many ports are facing is which investments to make to avoid a chicken and egg situation.”

Addressing the impact on ports of larger cruise vessels and new environmental strategies, Valeria Mangiarotti, Director of Environmental Issues, MedCruise, said that ports need to adopt energy plans to achieve the greenest possible self-sufficiency, seeking policy integration between cruise lines and ports. She asked "Which is the best strategy for MedCruise ports? Our choice now is LNG, for its environmental benefits, stability on all quaysides, and capacity. We don’t think cold ironing is possible for cruise." Rafael Company, R&D Manager, Valenciaport Foundation, said that his port is focusing on technologies to improve its efficiency. "One of our main goals is to balance environmental challenges and impacts in the cruise sector," he said. In addition to investment in LNG bunkering and a national heritage certification scheme, the port is also improving its data collection sources for air emissions.

Maximo Caletrio, Cruise Programme Director, Valencia Tourism, described the host of GreenPort Europe 2018, Valencia, as a cruise-friendly city. “Cruise tourism has increased from just 18 calls in 2000, about 10,000 passengers, to a forecast for this year of nearly 200 cruise calls and more than 420,000 passengers. This growth is due to the adaptation of the port and new infrastructure.” He said the city had invested in green shore excursions, including 141 km of cycle lanes. Francesc Sánchez, General Manager, Port Authority of Valencia, explained that cruise numbers had grown significantly for the city in recent years, at about 3 per cent annually. "We want to multiply by two or three the number of cruise calls, but we think that this increase must be in line with services in the city with a whole proposal to make the cruise industry successful for the city and avoid the tensions we can see in other places of the world. We are working very hard with the city in establishing a sustainable framework for all cruises."

Juan Ignacio Buenestado, LNG Bunkering, business development, Naturgy, added: "There are increasing concerns about pollution by bigger ships in the cities. LNG is a pragmatic bridge to the future, but the question is how long will this bridge be? We have an incentive to introduce LNG as a real alternative fuel." Having won the first Spanish LNG supply contract, Naturgy will supply cruise vessels in Barcelona with LNG by mid-2020.

Port reception facilities were the focus of the day’s final session. Anna Bobo-Remijn, European Commission, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport Maritime Safety Unit, commented that it was important for legislation to balance requirements regarding the adequacy of port reception facilities with operational and environmental conditions.

GreenPort Congress began yesterday, ending on Friday with a technical visit where attendees will have the opportunity to see the three main container terminals of the Port of Valencia.
For further information on the conference visit: