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By: Travel Agent Central Contributor

Broward County Commission gave Port Everglades the okay to begin exploring the possibility of installing “cold iron,” shore-side power at the new Cruise Terminal 18. The terminal will be a year-round home port for Royal Caribbean International's Oasis-class ships. If funds allow and the operation is feasible, Port Everglades will become the first seaport on the East Coast of the U.S. to install cold ironing.

Cold ironing allows a ship to shut off its engines and operate with shore-side electrical power from Florida Power & Light (FPL) as opposed to burning diesel fuel while the ship is docked in the port.

"I want to applaud our Port Director Phil Allen and his staff for taking the initiative and working with Royal Caribbean to take the lead in this proactive environmental measure," said Stacy Ritter, Broward County Mayor. "This is what we should be doing, leading the way as a county to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases.

Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD (RCL), parent company of Royal Caribbean International, has expressed an interest in partnering with Broward County and FPL to install the cold ironing infrastructure at Port Everglades, according to Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen.

Broward County Commissioner Kristin D. Jacobs explained that by shutting down the engines and using electric shore-side power on the Oasis-class ships, which will be the two largest cruise ships in the world, each ship will experience annual reductions of 40.9 percent less CO2 emissions, 97.7 percent less nitrogen oxide emissions, 95.2 percent less sulfur dioxide emissions, and 88.1 percent less particulate matter.

At Cruise Terminal 18 in Port Everglades, Royal Caribbean and Broward County will connect to the FPL power grid, which will require Broward County to execute a new interconnection agreement with FPL.

"Cold ironing at Port Everglades is an ultra-proactive voluntary measure to protect our environment," Allen said. "The U.S. Navy, and ports in
Alaska and on the West Coast have used shore-side power successfully to reduce existing pollution from ships.

In November 2009, Port Everglades will become the year-round home port for the first of Royal Caribbean International's Oasis-class of ships,
Oasis of the Seas.

The second Oasis-class ship,
Allure of the Seas, is scheduled to sail year-round from the South Florida cruise port beginning in December 2010.

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