ABL Group conducts shore power feasibility study at the Port of Mombasa

Panorama of Mombasa port, Kenya at dawn

A feasibility study conducted by consultancy ABL Group has investigated two possible brownfield sites for the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya.

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

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

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 included developing a conceptual design for each site, each designed to maximise the PV output from the sites. 

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 Kilowatt hour 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 [shore power], resulting in an improvement to local air quality,” said Aimee Besant, energy storage lead at ABL Group.

This installation is to generate renewable energy powered by shore power.

The project was commissioned following the proposed introduction of the Green Ports Policy by the Kenyan Ports Authority. 

This policy was enacted with the vision 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 per cent of vessels’ emissions are generated whilst stationary at port. Utilising electrical power from shore brings significant reductions in emissions,” Besant added. 

“However, this study went one step further in exploring the opportunity to generate the electricity from 100 per cent clean local solar PV resources, creating an entirely green contribution to the shore power system.” 

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