Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oakland, Los Angeles Ports Receive $10M In Fed Grants for Ship-to-Shore Power

Two of California's major container ports have received just under $10 million in environmental grants from the federal government to further develop ship-to-shore power systems.

The Port of Los Angeles was awarded $1.2 million from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to install portable dock-based power systems to provide maintenance power to vessels at berth.

The port, which has been using a different ship-to-shore system for several years at several terminals, will use the $3.6 million liquefied natural gas generator system to provide temporary shore-based electrical power to five American President Lines vessels while the port continues development of a permanent ship-to-shore installation at the APL terminal.

Studies have found that nearly half of the diesel emissions generated during a vessel call are generated by the running of a vessel's auxiliary engines to provide maintenance power while at berth.

Providing electrical power from land-based power systems, including dockside alternative fuel generators and direct connections to the landside power grid, are claimed to significantly reduce overall diesel emissions in port areas.

The port plans to complete the full ship-to-shore installation at the APL terminal within 18 months and then expand it to other terminals. The neighboring Port of Long Beach also has a major ship-to-shore electrification program under development.

Officials from the US Maritime Administration, or MARAD, also announced the approval of an $8.5 million grant to the Port of Oakland for completion of design work for a ship-to-shore power project at the port. Contractor Moffatt & Nichol had been designing the port's ship-to-shore infrastructure, but work was halted late last year after the port failed to receive several federal grants to help pay for the project. The port will use $7.85 million of the new MARAD grant and funds remaining from the 2009 contract to continue the design work on the ship-to-shore system.

In other grant news, the Port of Los Angeles also received just over $730,000 from the US EPA to purchase and evaluate a hybrid-powered rubber-tired gantry crane. Instead of being powered by a conventional diesel-engine power system, the EcoCrane RTG is powered by a drastically smaller and cleaner-burning diesel engine that charges on-board batteries. The batteries in turn power an electric motor system to provide lift and drive power for the crane. The hybrid RTG, manufactured by EcoPower Hybrid Systems, is on the EPA's emerging technologies list and is claimed to produce 85 percent less diesel particulate matter and 70 percent less greenhouse gases than a conventionally-powered RTG.

If the hybrid RTG performs successfully during the planned 12-month evaluation, port officials plans to make the cranes a mandatory requirement under new terminal leases.