GreenPort’s South Asian Initiative
The GreenPort conference is likely to have a lasting impact on the Indian maritime scene.
A clear indication that it was time to raise the pitch for ‘going green’ came during the first GreenPort South Asia Conference held in Mumbai from 20 to 22 March 2013. The 110 delegates from global ports, terminal operators, shipping lines, consultants, industry organizations, consultants, manufacturers and suppliers to the industry who attended reached the consensus that they have much to benefit from reducing their carbon footprint and by being more sensitive to environmental considerations for future success.The GreenPort Congress provided decision makers with a convenient meeting point to both learn about and discuss the latest in sustainable environmental practice that will enable them to effectively implement these changes. The technical conference brought together presentations and papers providing evidence of established best practice examples from India and other international ports on a knowledge sharing platform.
Nevertheless, there was obvious consensus from the mix of delegates on the challenges, issues, and response options facing the sector and supply chain. In order of priority, challenges to achieving sustainable development were identified as being: financial cost, stakeholder engagement, legislation of regulation, status of the environment within the business plan and techniques and equipment. Overall, delegates agreed on the positive role that the exchange of knowledge and experience through such events can play in the promotion of sustainable development in the port and supply chain.
A number of leading experts together with professionals from ports and terminals from across the world made presentations at the conference. These included: Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General, European Sea Ports Organization; Dr Jurgen Sorgenfrei, Director Global Trade & Transportation Practice, IHS, Germany; Jacco Rentrop, Safety & Environment Manager, Port of Moerdijk, Netherlands; Giuseppe Di Luca, Head of Environment, Port Authority of Genoa, Italy; L. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), and Prof. Dr. Michele Acciaro, Assistant Professor of Maritime Logistics, Kühne Logistics University.
Furthermore, many professionals from across South Asia also attended as speakers. These included: Manish Saigal, Partner Global Strategy Group, KPMG India; Jamie Simpson, Vice President, ICF International, Managing Director, GHK Hong Kong; Anand M. Hiremanth, Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology; Shailendra Fuloria, Head of Smart Grid, ABB Limited, India and Co-Chair, India Smart Grid Forum, Femke Boersma, Head of Sustainability Metrics, Turnkey Group, Hong Kong; David S. Brew and Zaman Sarkar of Royal Haskoning DHV and Dr Amol Jain, General Manager, Department of Horticulture, Adani Ports.
The conference afforded opportunities to various stakeholders for highlighting innovation in equipment and technology whilst illustrating practical solutions through case studies. It also provided a unique occasion for the international port community to not only meet to share valuable knowledge and practical experience but also most importantly for ports from across the world to strengthen trade relations with the key stakeholders from across this region.
India has been moving ahead incorporating various green initiatives in the port sector pointed out to Mr. Radhakrishnan while giving a synopsis of the Maritime Agenda. “JNPT has acquired several awards for green initiatives,” he informed. “We have provided green cover to one-third of the port area and reduced carbon footprints by using environment friendly methods. The port has taken up the development of projects for providing at least 60 per cent renewal energy, especially wind and solar power, providing electricity from the shore to ships, and other green initiatives.”
Making a presentation on the extensive renewal energy potential of India, Shailendra Fuloria provided an insight into the holistic initiative by various stakeholders. “Focus is on making additions to the solar and wind power generation capacity,” he said. “Large scale renewable needs will be met while integrating infrastructure, sustainable integration of wind power and energy storage for renewable conversion. In this regard ABB has solutions for energy storage for renewable conversion.”
The paper presented by David S. Brew and Zaman Sarkar of Royal Haskoning DHV featured various examples to show how an understanding of physical and sedimentary processes is used to support the engineering design and environmental impact assessment of dredging deep water approach channels in dynamic marine environments, as well as ensuring the delivery and success of mitigation measure to offset any predicted impact of dredging.
Global climate change is widely regarded as one of the most significant environmental threats faced in the modern times explained Anand M. Hiremanth. “The shipping industry accounts for 3.9% of global carbon dioxide emissions, of which 99% is caused by the emission from port operations,” he informed. He went on to give details of an analysis of the carbon dioxide emissions for various ports across India and also focused on the four container terminals in JNPT giving realistic expectation of levels of carbon emissions.
Challenges being faced in promoting green port initiatives, maritime skill building and technological solutions and strategies also were highlighted. The objectives of emission reduction, optimizing energy management, waste management, supplies and consumption control, etc., were deliberated upon. The use of several green solutions was also brought into focus.
The conference is being seen as a driver to various green initiatives that are underway or in the process of taking shape. It may turn out to be a new beginning of a major makeover phase that can greatly impact the maritime sector in India. Under these setting new technologies, innovations and discoveries would greatly help to create value for the environment.