By Oluwabunmi Ogunjimi
THE Nigerian Ports Authority in collaboration with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, has commenced moves to reduce Carbon Dioxide emission and embrace the use of cleaner and safer source of energy with a view to preserving the earth.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas conference on tagged Decade of Gas held in Abuja, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority Ms Hadiza Bala Usman said that the agency is aligning with the global discourse that the reduction in the use of heavy hydrocarbons and increasing the use of LNG in maritime transport could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other pollution arising from international trade.
Usman said that the move to reduce the use of Carbon Dioxide is a step in the right direction as NPA will join hands with other stakeholders to confront the challenges associated with climate change and air quality.
She explained that the demand for gas as the safest, most effective and environmentally source of energy is currently on the increase adding that NPA will continue to play the role of catalyst in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal, SDG of the United Nations.
She said: “Internationally and domestically, the recognition and demand for gas as the safest, most effective and environmentally friendly source of energy has continued to increase and as an organisation that believes in the catalytic role that natural gas can play in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, in particular Goal 7( to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for al)l, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is poised to embrace partnerships and support policies and actions steps aimed at optimizing the advantages that the endowment of over a hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas can bring to bear on Nigeria’s economy.
“With the expansion of opportunities in the sector and gas related investments and projects (eg. floating storage and regasification units, LNG bunkering floating platforms), there will certainly be more opportunities for OffshoreSupport Vessels(OVS) and theattendant economic benefits. This is why we must strive to provide the enabling environment for productive operations, with international best practices in mind.
“Compliance is crucial to the handling of dangerous and hazardous good and products(like gas). As a result, the NPA has strategically primed most of the reform initiatives to align with the impacts of global energy transition.
“Towards the end of last year, I signed a directive with strict timelines for full compliance with and enforcement of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sulphur Regulation on Nigerian Waterways.
“The new regulations, known as IMO Sulphur Regulations 2020, mandates a maximum Sulphur content of 0.5% in marine fuels globally. The driver of this change is the need to reduce the air pollution created in the shipping industry by reducing the Sulphur content of the fuels that ships use.
“So, by ensuring that all vessels sailing on our area of purview satisfy the requirements of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Conventions, which already include compliance with chemical and gas carrier codes, we have set the groundwork for safe deployment of OSVs to facilitate movement of gas especially in bulk as the NLNG does.
“To demonstrate our seriousness, we have taken concrete steps towards the procurement of necessary tools to enhance our capacity for Sulphur analysis as well as put in place a sanction regime for vessels that contravene the Sulphur regulations.”
The NPA boss also said that the need to articulate and aggregate all energy-transition and environmental-related port initiatives under one umbrella, to facilitate global maritime policymaking is also germane, and the NPA is keeping tabs in this regard.
“As Vice-chair of the FAL committee of IMO, we wouldensure tracking of global policy shift and provide the enabling atmosphere for domestication.
“Our commitment to building a sustainable shipping future cannot be devoid of the huge opportunities to reduce airborne pollution, carbon emissions that renewal energy technologies such as shipyards and energy parks offers.
We are therefore, at the forefront of studies to unlock these possibilities.”She stated