Sohar Port and Freezone has announced plans to replace over 2,200 streetlights with new energy-efficient and low-maintenance luminaires from Philips as part of a major infrastructure upgrade in the sultanate.
The installation of a full LED (light-emitting diode) street lighting system for the Port and Freezone concession areas comes as part of its new environmental management initiatives for the industrial complex as a whole, said a statement from Sohar.
Following a two-year research and testing phase for the best international solutions, Sohar has invested over $750,000 in the upgrade, which will substantially help to reduce carbon emissions thanks to power savings of around 60 per cent, it stated.
According to port officials, the new LED fixtures have a burn time of over 60,000 hours, without replacement or major maintenance, equivalent to around 12 years of normal usage. In the future, the system can be upgraded to dim automatically when no one is using the road, to further reduce power usage.
And there are long-term plans to power the system independently from the grid, using solar panels or other renewable energy sources. Safety in the port’s concession areas will also be enhanced thanks to better lighting, especially at road junctions, and the evenly spread, low-glare quality of Philips LED lighting, said the officials.
Sohar has a well-earned reputation in the region for being at the forefront of environmental initiatives. It plays an active part in the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI), and uses the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) to identify seagoing ships that perform better in reducing emissions than required by current global standards.
Sohar rewards cleaner ships by discounting its port tariffs through the so-called Green Award scheme, said a top official.
“For many international companies, the involvement of a world-class port like Rotterdam is a key contributing factor for their decision to invest in Sohar,” remarked CEO Andre Toet.
“All operations, marine and land side, must comply with best international practices and, as we continue to grow rapidly, we have to develop new concepts for the environmental management of the industrial complex as a whole; our new LED streetlights are just one recent example on the road ahead,” he stated.
Sohar Port and Freezone, he said, plans to break even on the investment with reduced utility costs within four years.
Rami Hajjar, the general manager of Philips Lighting in the Middle East, said: "The world’s population will grow by some 2.5 billion people by 2050, and 80 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities; therefore, we will need more light and more energy-efficient light."
"Today, fewer than 12 per cent of the world’s streetlights are LED and it is crucial to use energy-efficient LED lighting for a sustainable world,” he added.