India has 12 major and 200 intermediate ports, while its cargo traffic is expected to rise to 2500MT by 2024-25 from about 1100MT in 2015-16 and accordingly the number of ships touching Indian ports is expected to double by 2025.

Maritime transport emits about 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually (UNCTAD) and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions apart from NOx and SOx emissions.

Ships normally use some base-load electricity levels for essential services (hoteling, unloading and loading activities)all the time, including while at berth. While in port, these ships use their own diesel engines to produce electricity.

For a typical midsize tanker, the electric load required is about 400 kW (excluding the electricity needed for cargo operations and ballast operations) at any given time. For such a tanker staying at port for'30 hours, it would require 12 MWh of electricity. Generating this power on-board, apart from creating noise pollution, pollute the ports coastal and hinterland regions by emitting sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter along with black carbon. The pollution can be significant considering the number of ships on a port at any given time.

In response, the Indian Minister of Shipping has has directed the directorate general of shipping to explore the possibility of providing shore power from national grid to visiting ships in Indian ports. According to the official document, all Indian ports are required to comply with the following in order to facilitate a shore power supply:

  • Identification of a single point contact persons for receipt of shore power request from visiting ships
  • Preparation of procedures for shore power supply and publication of the same on their website.
  • Ships-ports interface forms indicating safety precautions to be undertaken by both sides to be developed. Filled up forms signed by Master/Chief Engineer of the ship and the responsible person from the port shall be kept as a record both on ships and Port facility
  • Ensure that neither do cargo discharge is delayed due to shore power connection nor do ship departure is delayed due to shore supply disconnection.