Plugging a ship into shore-side power - and turning off onboard generators - is one solution to reducing air pollution from ships, as well as limiting local noise.
International Maritime Organization (IMO) is this week beginning to look at the safety aspects of on shore power supply to ships, also known as “cold ironing”, “alternative maritime power” and “shore-side electricity”.
The Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), meeting 12-16 March, has been instructed to develop guidelines on the safe operation of cold ironing and to consider developing any necessary draft amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention.
On other matters, the Sub-Committee is expected to finalise draft new requirements for ventilation of totally enclosed lifeboats. This important work is aimed at ensuring that a habitable environment is maintained in such survival craft.
The meeting will also consider specific conditions and performance criteria for life-saving appliances and arrangements intended for use in polar waters, following the entry into force of IMO’s Polar Code.
Fire protection issues on the agenda include the ongoing review of current SOLAS regulations and associated codes to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires on new and existing ro-ro passenger ships, specifically in the ro-ro spaces and special category spaces.
Mandatory requirements for onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches are also on the agenda. The Sub-Committee is expected to identify where draft requirements should be included in the SOLAS treaty and further develop draft related guidelines.
The SSE 5 meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Dr. Susumu Ota (Japan).