Costa del Sol’s Malaga worried about environmental cost of cruise ships

Cruise liner pollution. Credit: Wikipedia

THE strategy of Malaga is to encourage cruise ships to dock at the city bringing with them tens of thousands of high-spending passengers. 

But now focus is shifting onto the cost of such a strategy – in particular the environmental price paid in terms of air quality in the capital of the Costa del Sol.

Malaga City Council’s Environmental Sustainability Committee is asking the Port Authority to study ways to implement an electrical power supply system for cruise ships when they are in port in an effort to reduce their CO2 emissions. 

Councillor Francisca Macias, of political party Adelante Malaga, said that in general the emission of pollutant gases by cruise ships is 50 times greater than that of Spanish navy. Pointing out that Malaga had 296 cruise liner arrivals in 2018, he said: “The gases emitted by a boat increase dramatically during low-speed navigation manoeuvres carried out by vessels within the Port.” 

While docked they also supply their own electricity, leading to more emissions. Now the committee wants the Port Authority to put in place an air quality detection system, as well as seeing if an external power supply can be run to ships for use when docked. 

The Committee recognised that the latter may be too expensive as it would probably require a new electricity sub-station with cables running under the city streets to supply it. But it has asked for a feasibility study nonetheless. 



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Dilip Kuner

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