Ports and Air Emissions

In port areas, air emissions and energy consumptions are primarily due to ships. However, there are other equipment and facilities that use energy or contribute to air emissions to port areas. These are for example:

  • Cargo loading and unloading devices.
  • Trucks and other land-based transportation units such as locomotives.
  • Buildings and energy needed for these building.
  • Harbour crafts that provide additional services to port and shipping companies.

Emissions in port areas are mainly those due to diesel engines and boilers. These air emissions include:

  • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx): The main sources of NOx are diesel engines both for ships and other land-based trucks.
  • Particulate Matters (PM): Again diesel engines are the main source of such emissions.
  • Sulphur Oxides (SOx): These are due to burning of sulphur content of fuel.
  • Some carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons could also be emitted from ship engines if they are not properly tuned.

The amount and level of such emissions will depend on not only technologies used but also operational aspects of ships, the time they stay in port and other energy using machinery and facilities in port itself. Emission reductions in the port area are typically focused on PM, SOx and NOx due to air quality health impacts. Controlling NOx, PM and SOx is the central focus for most national and regional regulatory agencies and therefore the same applies for ports as does to the shipping industry. GHGs emissions have recently been seriously addressed by regulatory agencies such as IMO, although in the port area, health effects and thus pollutants typically take the priority over GHG emissions (MariEMS 2017).