Maximizing shipping efficiencies to reduce fuel emissions over existing operations
The current channel depth does not allow crude carriers to depart fully loaded from the Port. As a result, Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) either:
- Enter the Port and depart lightly loaded along with other, smaller ships that temporarily hold and move additional cargo or,
- Remain offshore while smaller tankers enter the Port, load cargo, then exit the Port.
In either scenario, smaller ships must transfer their cargo to the larger VLCC in open water. This process is known as reverse lightering—significantly increasing the potential for collisions, oil spills, or fires. It also leads to increased air emissions from multiple ships completing a job that could be done by only one ship in less time.