PLA doubles green tariff discount

'Leader' ‘Leader’ under construction in Great Yarmouth. Credit: PLA

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has doubled its green tariff discount to boost tidal Thames air quality and later this year will launch the UK's first hybrid pilot cutter to cut pollution.

Ships on the tidal Thames that are registered with the International Maritime Organisation and whose emissions have an Environmental Ship Index rating of 30 or more will be able to secure a 10% reduction in vessel conservancy charges. The increased discount is 5% more than in 2018.

"The take-up of the discount for cleaner ships has been really positive," commented PLA chief executive, Robin Mortimer. "We've chosen to increase the discount to make it even more attractive for operators to introduce cleaner vessels and use them on the Thames.”

Greening London

Last year, 209 vessels achieving this standard called on the Thames, up from 150 in 2017. The cleaner vessels visited the port a total of 418 times, up from 338 on the previous 12 months.

Mr Mortimer explained the discount initiative is part of the work the port is carrying out as part of its Air Quality Strategy.

“Later this year we will launch Leader, the UK's first hybrid pilot cutter, which will run on electricity for the majority of the time, rather than diesel.

"We will shortly be starting air quality monitoring in Greenwich too."

Leader is in the final stages of production at Goodchild Marine's boatyard in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. It will join the PLA's Gravesend-based fleet, which deliver pilots to visiting ships, so that they can be safely guided into, and out of, port.

Other recent measures, introduced by the PLA to reduce its carbon footprint, include the installation of solar panels to illuminate more than 42 river channel marker buoys.

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