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Home Port News ABL Group explores renewable power sources at Mombasa Port

ABL Group explores renewable power sources at Mombasa Port

ABL Group has investigated two potential sites for the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to generate renewable energy from onshore power, or 'cold ironing', in Kenya's major port of Mombasa.

Kenyan Ports Authority commissioned the proposed introduction of the Green Ports Policy. The authority is envisaging that all vessels at the port of Mombasa are to turn off onboard generators and operate from shore power.

"A study conducted in 2021 indicated that 25% of vessels’ emissions are generated whilst stationary at the port. Utilising electrical power from shore brings significant reductions in emissions," said Aimee Besant, energy storage lead at ABL Group.

He added, "However, this study went one step further in exploring the opportunity to generate the electricity from 100% clean local solar PV resources, creating an entirely green contribution to the shore power system."

As part of the research, ABL’s renewable energy experts conducted a feasibility study for the client to assess the suitability of installing a 5-10 MWp solar plant, energy from which can be harnessed to install a green energy shore power system.

In addition, the scope of work included the provision of a cost indication of a correctly sized solar plant and an evaluation of the typical vessel consumption demand and wider energy demand of the port and berth.

Moreover, the results of the study assessed two possible brownfield sites deemed viable options for solar PV plant development, following desktop reviews by the ABL team.
The work also included developing a conceptual design for each site, each designed to maximise the PV output from the sites.

According to ABL, the design results were compared to the vessel and port consumption demand and the local cost of heavy fuel oils to determine that, on a kWh basis, a combination of PV-generated and grid-supplied shore power could be cost-effective compared to traditional onboard generators.

"The study found that significant reduction in the local burning of heavy fuel oils can be secured from the use of cold ironing, resulting in an improvement to local air quality,” noted Aimee Besant.

This study was designed to assess the feasibility of solar PV-generated cold ironing, however, it has been expanded to explore the feasibility of additional renewable power sources or energy storage.

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