Racking up another in a series of ‘firsts’, RPM is using the latest solar technology and generating a surprising 60% of all the power used to keep the marina operating.
In a classic case of synergy, the solar panels sit atop Thailand’s only fully-covered, four-storey boat dry-stack system. Aside from many other advantages for pleasure boat owners, dry-stacking boats avoids the need to coat the hulls with anti-fouling materials – chemicals that leach into the ocean over time.
Owners of boats up to 48ft (15m) at Royal Phuket Marina are incentivised to use this first-of-its-kind dry-stack facility by the provision of a truly seamless concierge service. “Our dry-stack customers can call us 24/7 saying they want to use their boat today – and it will be in the water, ready to go, within 10-15 minutes,” says marina manager Woranart Wongvanich, adding that the service includes hauling out after use and a pressure-wash before re-stacking.
“We’re passionate about nature and the environment at Royal Phuket Marina,” said Chairman Gulu Lalvani, adding, “We’re proud to say that our move to solar power reduces our annual carbon footprint by 20 tons and I was delighted, on several occasions recently, that Phuket’s air quality index (AQI) was an amazing zero – the lowest in the world.”
Solar energy is just the latest of Royal Phuket Marina’s green initiatives. July 2019 saw the marina become the first in Thailand to achieve ‘Clean Marina Accreditation’, satisfying the stringent criteria of the Marina Industry Association’s ‘Clean Marina Program’. The programme’s goal is to reduce ‘non-point source pollution’ associated with boating and marina facilities, and to promote clean water and clean air in marina industry businesses.
Mr Lalvani is no stranger to taking the lead, having been in the vanguard of the push to abolish import duty on yachts – which was achieved in January 2004, giving Thailand’s marine leisure industry a massive boost – long before many of today’s industry players came on the scene.
Located right in the middle of Phuket Island’s east coast, Royal Phuket Marina is the gateway to Phang Nga Bay and more than 30 Andaman islands.