Tokyo urges moored ships to switch off engines

The Tokyo metropolitan government will begin efforts in fiscal 2009 to encourage large ships moored in Tokyo Bay to shut down their engines, in a bid to eliminate carbon dioxide and airborne pollutant emissions.

Moored vessels commonly keep their engines running to ensure sufficient power for onboard operations such as lighting and air-conditioning systems. The Tokyo government, however, plans to supply this necessary power from land. The Tokyo government plans to begin supplying power to moored ships for a fee as early as fiscal 2011, and plans to start building a power transmitter at Hinode Pier in Minato Ward in fiscal 2009. The land power supply will initially be restricted to domestic vessels such as cargo ships, large ferries and sightseeing boats that consume large amounts of energy. About 4,000 vessels fall under this category annually. According to the Tokyo government’s Ports and Harbours Bureau, about 25,000 domestic vessels and 6,500 foreign-registered vessels arrive in Tokyo Bay each year. The vessels often leave their engines running while moored to convert fuel oil into electricity. The practice emits large volumes of CO2, as well as acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide from the use of ship fuel with high sulfur content.

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