Lorenz S. Marasigan (Business Mirror)
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) plans to switch from using traditional energy to renewable sources for all of the terminals that it controls nationwide, as it aims to reduce its carbon emissions in the next two- and-a-half decades.
PPA Assistant General Manager for Operations Hector E. Miole said his group is pursuing a project, dubbed as Green Port, to help the government in fighting environmental issues hounding the country.
“Our international shipping counterparts have already agreed to reduce carbon emissions by a certain percentage in the next decade or so and it is only fitting to do the same in our ports,” he said.
The project is in accordance with the 25-year port development road map adopted by Philippine port stakeholders in a summit held in April this year, which will be submitted to the President later this year.
“The initial outlay might be overwhelming, but its long-term effect to the financial aspect and environmental conservation outweighs all of that,” Miole said.
This is also a commitment of the PPA to the AmBisyon Natin 2040 program adopted by the current administration.
Initially, the port regulator will replace all its existing fluorescent, incandescent lamps and bulbs with light-emitting diode lights in its corporate office building by the middle of this month. It is, likewise, making an inventory of all streetlights from the South Harbor Expanded Port Zone, the access roads going to its control tower, as well as the offices at the North and South Harbors.
The agency is looking at forging a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine National Oil Co.-Renewable Corp. (PNOC-RC) in enforcing this endeavor.
Under the proposed agreement, PNOC-RC will provide technical expertise, review and design for the best kind of renewable-energy sources, which will be used by the PPA in bidding out the said project.
The result of the review is expected to be operational in six months upon signing of the agreement. The port regulator, for its part, will determine the initial ports that will undergo the same “greening” project.
Initially, the PNOC-RC is offering a guaranteed 100-kilowatt solar panel to be installed at the PPA Head Office, which is enough to cover at least a third of the agency’s lighting requirements. The facility, however, will still be connected to the current electric grid system to source out the remaining power requirement of the office.
In 2007 then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Administrative Order 183 directing all government offices and facilities to use energy-efficient lighting systems to contribute to the realization of energy savings, as well as pollution prevention and overall environmental improvement.
Four years later, the International Maritime Organization adopted mandatory energy-efficiency measures for an entire industry sector with a suite of technical and operational requirements for new and existing vessels that came in force in 2013.
By 2025, all new ships built will be 30 percent more energy efficient than those built in 2014.
In the last three years, the Permanent International Association of Navigational Congresses, where PPA is member, as well as the Japan Overseas Port Cooperation Association, recommended to the Filipino port authority the adoption of disaster-resilient ports considering climate change and make it environment-friendly by using sustainable sources of energy.
Aside from the greening project, the 25-year Development Roadmap also includes plans for cruise shipping, industrial ports/zoning management, long-term infrastructure development, interconnectivity and supply-chain development.