PPA moves toward the use of renewable energy in its ports nationwide

MANILA, MAY 11, 2017—To be at par with international maritime stakeholders and to reduce the carbon footprints from ports, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is pursuing the use of renewable energy in all its controlled ports nationwide.

The “Green Port” project is in accordance with the 25-year port development roadmap adopted by Philippine port stakeholders in a summit held in April this year, which will be submitted to the President later this year.

This is also a commitment of the Authority to the Ambisyon Natin 2040 program adopted by the current administration.

“The Authority is gearing towards using sustainable energy in all its aspects of operations as much as possible, not only in the Head Office but including all PMOs and TMOs nationwide,” PPA Assistant General Manager for Operations Hector E. Miole explained, who spearheaded the adoption of the port development roadmap.

“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,” Miole stressed, who also leads the PPA in the ‘port greening’ project.

“The initial outlay might be overwhelming, but its long-term effect to the financial aspect and environmental conservation outweighs all of that,” Miole said.

As a starter, the PPA will replace all its existing fluorescent, incandescent lamps, and bulbs with LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lights in its Corporate Office Building by the middle of this month.

PPA is likewise making an inventory of all streetlights from the South Harbor Expanded Port Zone, the access roads going to its VTMS control tower, as well as the PPA offices at the South Harbor and the North Harbor.

The agency is looking at forging a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine National Oil Company-Renewable Corporation (PNOC-RC) in enforcing this notable project.

Under the proposed MOA, 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 6 months upon signing of the MOA. The PPA, 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 No. 183 directing all government offices and facilities to use energy efficient lighting/lighting system to contribute to the realization of energy savings as well as pollution prevention and overall environmental improvement.

In 2011, 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% 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 PPA 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, inter-connectivity, and supply chain development.