Galveston Leading the Industry as a Green Port

The Port of Galveston is making progress in realizing long-term changes to protect the environment using cleaner energy sources, waste reduction and sustainable construction, according to Port Director and CEO Rodger Rees

“Guided by Green Marine, a voluntary environmental program for North America’s maritime industry, the port staff is researching, planning and implementing several new programs. Joining Green Marine helps the port identify and implement best practices, manage environmental initiatives, measure progress, and strive for continuous improvement,” Rees said in a statement. 

Among examples the port is building an interior roadway to accommodate cruise and cargo traffic is expected to relieve traffic congestion and idling time on Harborside Drive.

Reese said there is growing interest in powering docked ships with shore side electricity instead of onboard diesel auxiliary engines.

“Texas A&M University is conducting a study of shore power for cargo ships, and a major energy company has approached the port about a public-private partnership. Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is outfitting its new cruise terminal for shore power for when it becomes available for the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas. Carnival’s Jubilee, scheduled to homeport in Galveston in 2023, will run on liquified natural gas (LNG),” Rees said.

“The port and its partners are pursuing opportunities to offer LNG, a safe, clean-burning marine fuel, to improve air quality and meet global maritime industry goals,” he added.

Another goal is to transition to lower-emission equipment, provide electric vehicle charging stations for cruise parking customers.

“The cruise industry is already a leader in environmental initiatives to reduce waste and transition to clean-burning fuels. For example, Royal Caribbean has designed its new Galveston cruise terminal to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) certification standards. To qualify, the building must meet a global set of health, efficiency and sustainability standards,” Rees added.

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