Malta Waterfront, Source: A. Dimitrova

Malta enters the air pollution fight with a new initiative

Malta enters the air pollution fight with a new initiative

Learn more about the Grand Harbour Clean Air Project

Ships and maritime transport are responsible for much of the world's sulfur dioxide emissions. When docked at harbour they also produce huge amounts of nitrogen dioxide. According to some estimations made by ICCT air pollution from land transport has reduced in the last decades. Now it is time for maritime vehicles to step up.

Malta is offering a good example in this respect.

Malta Grand Harbour at the forefront

Approximately 50 million euros will be the cost of a project launched by Infrastructure Malta. It involves the construction and putting into operation of a shore-side electricity project for cruise liners and Ro-Ro ships harbouring at Grand Harbour. According to preliminary estimations, it should reduce air pollution from ships by up to 90%.

When in harbour, ships usually stay at the dock on standby, their engines working. For eight hours they can produce huge amounts of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. When the project is implemented, however, the ships will be able to switch off their engines and connect to the on-land side electricity and power their systems while docked.

The project will be implemented in two stages. The first one amounts to a 37-million-euro investment and will provide the main power to the five main ship quays by the end of 2023. It is expected that after the first phase is finished and the project becomes operational, the emissions will be reduced significantly and the air quality will improve. In addition to the other greenhouse gases, a 39.6% carbon dioxide cuts are expected.

The second stage will extend the electricity converters to two more quays.

The project is still in its initial phase as Infrastructure Malta has just submitted the necessary documents to the relevant authorities. The next step is to get a permit for the construction and mounting works. The port is part of the TEN-T Core Network and qualifies for funding under Connecting Europe Facility. That is why the proposal has also been submitted to the European Commission.

Grand Harbour Clean Air Project is putting Malta on the map in Europe with initiatives for the reduction of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport. It also presents a step forward towards the national and European targets under the Paris Agreement and Directive 2008/50/EC.



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