Doing more with less

It has always been important to us to take care of the environment and as a business that straddles land and sea we are particularly conscious of the impact we can have on the marine environment.

 

We work hard to ensure that nothing goes into the sea that shouldn’t, so it was disappointing to have one spill event this year.

We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our energy usage. In 2011/12 we reduced our total electricity and fuel consumption by over 18%. Since then we have continued to make incremental gains. Electricity use overall fell this year as a result of lower volumes, but went up slightly when measured per TEU, though it is still well down on five years ago. Fuel use was down overall and per TEU handled. The two stories below illustrate how we continue to innovate to find ways to do more with less.

Wakatere: energy saving through innovation

Our newest pilot boat, Wakatere arrived at our port last November. A unique craft, she is the first foil assisted catamaran pilot boat in Australasia and a very successful addition to our fleet.

This success is down to collaboration between our staff (our pilot boat masters, marine engineer and one of our pilots), Teknicraft Design and Q-West Boat Builders. Inspiration came from watching Q-West’s Clipper-class vessels operate out in the Waitematā harbour in varying weather conditions.

Wakatere’s unique design delivers a number of benefits. Hamilton Jet powered and foil assisted, she goes faster while using a third less fuel. Her twin hulls make her a very stable platform for fast, efficient pilot transfer and she comes with industry leading safety features such as thermal imaging for night vision and a unique ‘man overboard’ recovery system.

Hybrid Capstan truck

Capstan trucks, used for hauling in large ship’s lines, were developed here at Ports of Auckland in the late 1990’s by the late Ben Evans, our former marine engineer.  Prior to his invention, all lines had to be hauled ashore by hand, a hard and strenuous job given the big lines on modern ships.

We haven’t stopped innovating and improving and this year we went a little bit greener with the introduction of our first hybrid capstan truck, developed with help from our marine team.

Bryde’s whales: a successful collaboration

In early 2012 the Hauraki Gulf Forum, Environmental Defence Society and University of Auckland convened a workshop to look for ways to reduce the number of whales hit and killed by ships in the Hauraki Gulf. Ports of Auckland sat down with scientists, environmental NGOs, mana whenua, regulators and shipping lines to find a collaborative solution to the problem. At that time around two Bryde’s whale a year on average were being killed by ship strike.

A number of ideas were explored, including listening for whales, scaring whales away from ships, watching for whales using infra-red cameras, but only one idea seemed to offer reasonable results – reducing ship speed. For the industry this was problematic – there is an economic and environmental cost to lower speeds as the time has to be made up elsewhere – but we worked collaboratively to address and mitigate these issues. Of particular importance was for any speed reduction to be voluntary, so ships still had the option to use higher speeds if, for example, they were delayed by weather earlier in their journey.

Working with the shipping industry and other members of the Bryde’s Whale Collaborative Group, Ports of Auckland developed a protocol for vessels travelling through the Hauraki Gulf. Under the protocol, vessels are asked to voluntarily slow down to as close to 10 knots as their schedule allows. The science shows that the risk to whales is substantially less from ships travelling at 10 knots.

The protocol was introduced in September 2013 and after three years it is fair to say it has been a success. Prior to the protocol‘s introduction the average ship speed in the Gulf was 14.2 knots; it’s now down to 10.6 knots, a 25% reduction. More importantly, just one whale has been lost since the voluntary transit protocol was introduced.

This is a positive result which balances economic and environmental imperatives and demonstrates how partnership and collaboration can help make our operations more sustainable.

Environment_table_2016_V2

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling Indicator

FY 2011-12

FY 2012-13

FY 2013-14

FY 2014-15

FY 2015-16

Electricity used by port operation (kWh)

18,302,864

17,358,646

17,772,839

18,164,150

17,256,149

Electricity used by port operation (kWh) per TEU*

22.64

21.20

18.35

18.68

19.02

Diesel used by port operations (litres)

2,740,275

2,778,502

3,211,682

3,113,857

2,763,529

Diesel used by port operations (litres) per TEU*

3.39

3.39

3.32

3.20

3.05

Diesel used by straddles (litres) per engine hour

 20.79

21.58

21.69

20.71

20.87

Diesel used by port service – Marine (litres)+

725,407

650,233

735,825

839,044

775,361

Water used by port operations (cu m)

74,667

83,870

81,242

69,949

88,160^

Water used by port operations (cu m) per TEU*

0.09

0.10

0.08

0.08

0.10

Total dredgings used as environmentally friendly fill, including mudcrete (cu m)

49,900

87,100

34,000

13,700

47,854

Energy used measurements refer only to the Waitematā seaport

* 1 TEU is a standard 20-foot container

+ Also includes diesel purchased but not yet used

^ Consumption increased this year to multiple construction sites including the Holcim Cement Silo and the new tug berth

Transport Indicator

FY 2011-12

FY 2012-13

FY 2013-14

FY 2014-15

FY 2015-16

Total containers moved by truck (TEU)

492,015

543,398

694,669

641,161

610,122

Containers trucked off peak (TEU)

172,205

223,955

298,604

277,146

213,783

Containers trucked off peak as % of total containers moved by truck (TEU)+

35

41

43

43

35

Total containers moved by rail (TEU)^

56,712

42,353

69,585

100,332

87,242

Rail moves as % of total land-side moves to/from the Port

11.6

11

10

14

14

Volumes refer to the Waitematā seaport only.

+ Off peak refers to 7 pm - 7am weekdays and all day on weekends.

^ Volume of containers moved by rail previously included shuttle moves. These have now been removed for all previous years. In 2012, volumes moved by rail was impacted by the industrial dispute. The business lost is yet to be recovered, even so, the volumes moved by rail has increased in 2013/14.

Complaints indicator*

FY 2011-12

FY 2012-13

FY 2013-14

FY 2014-15

FY 2015-16

Noise and other complaints

40

25

48

25

52

Spills indicator

FY 2011-12

FY 2012-13

FY 2013-14

FY 2014-15

FY 2015-16

Environmental spills~

1

1

0

1

1

* These do not include complaints relating to port development.

~ The spills data refers to spills for which POAL has assumed responsibility.

Note: Environmental measurements are currently only made at the Waitematā seaport.