Monday, December 21, 2009

APL to Cold Iron Oakland Terminal, Vessels

Shipping and logistics firm APL is teaming up with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on an $11 million project to cut ocean-going vessel emissions near the Port of Oakland.

Nearly $5 million of the project will come from air quality grants and will go toward retrofitting the APL terminal at the Oakland port and the carrier's vessels that call there, to use dockside electric power.

Ocean-going vessels generate a large percentage of their pollution per visit while sitting idling at the dock and running generators to provide maintenance power. Dockside power, sometimes called ship-to-shore power or cold ironing, allows the vessels to plug into the shoreside power grid and shut down the on-ship generators, dramatically reducing in-port emissions.

Cold ironing their terminal and vessels at Oakland will, according to APL, cut more than 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions– a leading component of smog– from ships berthed in Oakland and 1,500 pounds of particulate matter– often seen as smokestack soot– annually.

When completed late next year, the cold-ironing portion of the program will see APL become the first terminal and carrier at the Oakland port to cold iron.
The state of California is planning to make cold ironing of ocean-going vessels mandatory by 2014.

“Diesel emissions from port operations have a serious health impact in the West Oakland community,” said Jack Broadbent, Executive Officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “APL is getting a head start to reduce emissions well before the state deadline.”

While APL will pick up the majority of the $11 million price tag, $2.8 million in grant money from the state Goods Movement Bond Program will be used to electrify berths at Global Gateway Central, the recently expanded and upgraded APL terminal at the Port of Oakland. An additional $2 million grant from the state Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program will be used to retrofit the first three APL container ships for cold ironing.