2019 Our Environment
Oil Spill Monitoring
The number of spills reported in 2019 was much higher than we have seen for some time. There was an incident in the first days of January 2019 that tested our oil pollution response procedures. Fortunately, the actual spill was less severe than initial estimates suggested. Nevertheless, the way the partner agencies responded to the incident was extremely encouraging. The key message as always is for all operators on or by the Waterway to be vigilant. We have a very high level of reporting of even very small spillages which is to be encouraged, so this message is getting across.
The Port switched energy suppliers to the wholly renewable-sourced electricity firm, Octopus, and work started to look at ways to offset our remaining carbon footprint created by energy usage where low carbon alternatives are not available, for example fuelling pilot launches. The Port currently relies on its existing solar PV installations for all offsetting, while also working to reduce energy consumption across our operations.
In 2019, the Port generated CO2 emissions totalling 1,850 tonnes, a dramatic reduction compared to the previous year. Against this is offset renewable energy generation totalling 5,639MWh, equivalent to 1,441 tonnes of CO2e. This leaves the Port with a carbon deficit of 409 tonnes for the year 2019.
IMO Sulphur Emissions Cap
In 2019, we carried out an extensive study of new ship emission regulations that were coming into force on 1 January 2020. International maritime law now forbids the use of high sulphur content fuels, leaving ship owners using oil-based fuels with a choice of three options for how they meet the new caps: they can switch to low sulphur fuels, or use exhaust gas cleaning technology to remove sulphur from emissions, either in a closed-loop, where the cleansing water is kept on board, or open-loop when it is discharged into the sea.
Port harbourmasters have the authority to decide the suitability of any ship that enters their waters. As the body charged with protection of the environment within port limits, and following consultation with Natural Resources Wales, the Port elected not to accept ships using open-loop exhaust scrubbers. A notice to mariners to that effect came into force on 1 January 2020.
As a port that shares space with some of the most highly protected marine ecosystems in Europe, we have a duty to act accordingly.
Coastal Communities Adapting Together (CCAT)
EU funding was secured for a new project aimed at helping residents and businesses in Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock engage with the challenges brought by climate change. CCAT (Coastal Communities Adapting Together) is a part of the EU’s Ireland Wales Programme linking coastal communities and academia of the two nations to improve lives in coastal areas. The project, which supports one post which is hosted by the Port, aims to build resilience, facilitate marine and climate citizenship, and help local people make the most of opportunities brought by climate change action, such as pursuing careers in the emerging marine renewable energy sector.
Special Area of Conservation
We were delighted to record 20 years of hosting the Pembrokeshire SAC (Special Area of Conservation) here at the Port in 2019. We are the only private company anywhere in the UK to host a SAC Officer and we look forward to continuing collaboration on conservation projects around the Port during 2020.