Small ports take big steps for sustainability at GreenPort Congress 2019

We can all learn from small ports We can all learn from small ports

During the closing session of GreenPort Congress 2019, small ports showcased the steps they have been taking to tackle emissions and build operational environmental awareness with limited resources.

The Port Authority of Skyros in Greece’s Aegean Sea has invested in electric vehicles, an airborne particles station at Linaria Port and runs university and school volunteer programmes as part of its bid to be sustainable.

Planning and committing to environmental initiatives is not an easy task as Kyriakos Antonopoulos, president of the voluntary-run port authority explained. In post since 2005, with no staff and without a salary, Mr Antonopoulos said the “annual budget of the port is only €150,000” and finances have been constrained by “Greek austerity”, while the future of the port is uncertain.

Currently owned by 300 local shareholders resident in Skyros, the port may be privatised and incorporated into a larger port group, Mr Antonopoulos said.

Still the port has managed to introduce an impressive amount of eco measures into its passenger, commercial and fishing operations. These include annual sea bed clean-ups, regular oil spill exercises, a ship-generated waste management plan, recycling of waste materials and use of electric vehicles. This is alongside work with the University of Patros to set up an airborne particles station.

Jonatan Sandager Hansen, project manager at the Port of Helsingor in Denmark explained that the port’s proximity to local communities necessitates careful consideration of air quality and noise levels.

Helsingor, which focuses on ferries, dry bulk and cruise operations, aims to build new quay with shore power. The port currently has small amount of shore power, but not enough to power a cruise ship, explained Mr Hansen.

But while it has ambitious plans for shore power, and currently has an electric tug and hybrid forklift - made possible as equipment manufacturers are offering machinery in different price brackets, it cannot afford to replace equipment on the scale of a larger port, only when current equipment no longer works.

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