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London will offer low emission discounts for ships

Sue Lucas

The Port of London Authority (PLA) operates across 95 miles of the River Thames, and works to keep commercial and leisure users safe and protects and enhances the surrounding environment. The PLA also works to promote the use of the river, for trade and travel.
PLA have this month revealed that they will offer discounts on port charges for ships with Environmental Shipping Index (ESI) with scores of 30 or above.

The ESI, developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative ranks ships’ environmental performance based on factors including emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and carbon dioxide. The aim of introducing this discount is to stimulate the ship-owners to improve their vessels and recognize them for their environmental performance. PLA and UK authorities hope to stimulate the green shipping technologies, with an aim to reduce the environmental impact of the daily operations of the port on both the nature and lifestyle in the area.

Christopher Rodrigues, PLA chairman said: “As ships represent a substantial capital investment, we want to encourage faster adoption of new green technologies by giving an added incentive to adopt cleaner technologies.”

The PLA are encouraging greener ports as it is of a high priority in their Thames Vision project. Reducing the ports environmental impact is the start of the Thames Vision journey. The plan also sets out development ideas for the Thames river over the next 20 years, combining increased river use alongside progressively improved environmental and habitat conditions.

London’s port is the country’s second biggest port with 70 terminals. The port can handle cruise liners, ro-ro ferries and cargo of all types. More than 100,000 large commercial ships call on the Thames every year, carrying in excess of 45 million tonnes of cargo destined for consumers and manufacturers in the south east and across the UK.