NPA pledges to make port operations more eco-friendly
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has pledged to ensure that business activities in the nation’s seaports become more eco-friendly in line with the targets of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of protecting the environment.
Speaking at the 2022 World Maritime Day, themed ‘New Technology for Greener Shipping,’ Mohammed Bello-Koko, the managing director of the NPA, said that eco-friendly port is in tandem with the NPA’s resolve to adopt globally prescribed solutions to environmental hazards through the National Blue Economy Initiative.
According to him, Nigeria must change the competition paradigm in the maritime sector from focusing solely on cost savings and revenue maximisation to ensuring environmental sustainability.
While pointing out that bringing environmental efficiency and digitalisation to the maritime industry is a duty of all, he said the NPA is working under the technical guidance and consultancy of the IMO to deploy the Port Community System which will bring about the platform needed to develop a cocktail of digital solutions that can make ships more energy-efficient.
He said it would also reduce pollution and ensure the global competitiveness of the Nigerian Ports through eco-friendly services.
“We have created a desk on Ballast Water Management manned by an expert to address Climatic Action and Life Below Water. The Authority towards the end of 2020, signed the IMO Sulphur Regulations 2020 which mandates a maximum Sulphur content of 0.5 percent in marine fuels globally,” Bello-Koko said.
He said the change is driven by the need to reduce the air pollution created in the shipping industry by reducing the sulphur content of the fuels that ships use.
“Transition to the use of natural gas which is more environmental friendly by vessels plying our waterways is on our agenda as an organisation that believes in the catalytic role that natural gas can play in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations,” he said.
He reiterated that the NPA is poised to embrace partnerships and support policies as well as actions aimed at optimising the advantages that the endowment of over 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas can bring to bear on Nigeria’s economy.
While saying that the Lekki Deep Seaport, which is set to become operational before the end of this year 2022 is built to attract bigger volumes of cargo by leveraging on its capacity to berth large super post Panamax vessels, he said, the port is fully automated meaning that ships will spend lesser time in port, thus reducing fuel consumption and emissions during vessel operations.
He added that the Badagry Deep Seaport for which approval was recently gotten will also toe the same path of full automation at take-off.