Findings from the Central Marine Research and Design Institute (CNIIMF) confirm that atmospheric emissions from ship engines at the Murmansk Commercial Seaport have decreased more than two times over the past 7 years.
Scientists analysed the dynamics of vessels calling at the port over the last seven years. It emerged that over the last few years, the port mainly started to handle dry cargo vessels of the largest sizes, such as Panamax and Capesize.
In 2010, out of 488 vessels to call at the port, only 54 were of Panamax size and none of Capesize class. This situation changed with the years and in 2016, while the total number of calls declined to 271, the port welcomed 101 Panamax vessels and 20 giant dry cargo Capesize ships. At the same time, the annual cargo turnover at the largest stevedoring company in the Arctic Basin remained stable at around 15 million tonnes.
According to scientists, the combination of less total ship calls at the Murmansk Seaport and a higher proportion of calls from modern and larger dry cargo vessels led to a decrease in emissions from shipboard power generators by more than two times in 7 years. The following reasons also contributed to lower emissions:
- for coal transport to EU countries, no bulk carriers older than 20 years are used. The newer vessels have more advanced power generation systems;
- in accordance with international requirements, marine vessels are increasingly using low-sulphur fuel;
- faster and more intensive loading operations have led to shorter times at berth.
The Murmansk Commercial Seaport will continue implementing its strategy to reduce its environmental impact. Measures are being developed to cut berthing time, as well as to reduce the utilisation of shipboard power generators during mooring by supplying electricity from shore.
Panamax ships are capable of passing through the Panama Canal fully loaded. The maximum dimensions of such dry cargo vessels are: length - 294.1 m, width - 32.3 m, draft - 12 m, height – 57.91 m (from the waterline to the highest point of the vessel), deadweight – c.75,000 tonnes. With a deadweight of 120-170 thousand tonnes, Capesize is the largest size category for dry cargo carriers. These ships are too large for the Panama Canal and must transit via Cape Horn to pass the Americas, and via Cape Agulhas to get around Africa.