Starting in 2018, all ships that use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as their primary fuel can apply for a discount of four percent on tonnage fees when calling at harbours of the Port of Tallinn. The goal of the discount is to contribute to the adoption of environmentally friendlier technologies in the Baltic Sea shipping sector.
“Similarly to other ports in the European Union and Norway, the Port of Tallinn has set a course toward environmentally differentiated port fees, with the aim of reducing the amount of air pollution and marine pollution from ships’ waste handling and gaseous emissions,” said the head of quality and environmental management department at the Port of Tallinn, Ellen Kaasik. “While currently cruise ships that sort their waste receive a discount on the waste fee, next year we will introduce a discount on port infrastructure fees for all ships that use LNG as their primary fuel.”
Kaasik said shipping companies worldwide, including in the Baltic Sea region, are introducing environmentally friendlier technologies, including replacing traditional diesel fuel with significantly cleaner liquefied natural gas.
“LNG is 100 percent free of solid particles and sulphur. The nitrogen (NOx) and carbon (CO2) levels in gaseous emissions also drop significantly with the use of natural gas as marine fuel,” said the Port of Tallinn’s quality and environmental management department head.
The Port of Tallinn also supports other initiatives and investments aimed at adopting cleaner technologies in the shipping sector. Unlike many other EU ports, Port of Tallinn also provides incentives for ships that have invested in scrubbers for reducing sulphur compounds in emissions, and accepts the waste generated by scrubbers without charging additional fees.
Kaasik said the Port of Tallinn plans to continue a policy of environmental differentiation port fees. For instance, it is planned to implement the Environmental Ship Index(ESI) energy performance system, which was developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative(WPCI). The ESI system, which has been implemented successfully in many EU and Norwegian ports, is based on the emissions of nitrogen compounds (NOx), sulphur compounds (SOx), solid particles (PM) and CO2, and takes into account whether ships are connected to shoreline power and the use of power at ports.
The implementation of differentiated port fees in various EU ports and a study regarding the impacts is part of the Green Cruise Port project cofinanced by the EU through the INTERREG BSR programme, which unites ports and cruise tourism sector companies in the Baltic Sea and North Sea countries.
The parties to the Green Cruise Port network are working on projects designed to integrate the Baltic Sea region into a better whole by way of innovative and sustainable solutions, taking into account the full potential of the cruise ship industry.