Friday, January 20, 2012

GreenPacific Conference Completes 2 Day Run

Challenges facing the marine transport industry’s implementation of green technology, and potential solutions to those challenges, were discussed by a wide array of industry experts during the third annual GreenPacific Conference in Long Beach, California this week.

During the conference, which was held Jan. 17-18 and attracted about 100 attendees, the over-arching topic was zero emissions technology. More than a dozen speakers addressed issues associated with it, including its promises and challenges, pending projects, fixed rail applications and legal and regulatory implications.

“What we’re seeing is a march toward zero emissions,” Thomas Jelenic, the assistant director of environmental affairs and planning for the Port of Long Beach said during a panel discussion on container handling and shore power projects at Southern California container terminals.

“We’re looking at a complete shift in the way that terminals do business in the future,” Jelenic said.

Among those in attendance to witness the proceedings was Federal Maritime Commission member Mario Cordero who, before being confirmed to the FMC in the spring of 2011 and subsequently relocating to Washington DC, spent eight years as a member of the Port of Long Beach’s Board of Harbor Commissioners.

“This is now a national discussion about greening the ports, not just Long Beach and Los Angeles,” Cordero said. “For the Federal Maritime Commission, obviously it’s an important issue with regard to not only the environmental aspect, but when we talk about sustainability and efficiency, that’s the mission of the FMC, to have us both competitive and move goods, international cargo, in an efficient manner.”

During his Long Beach tenure, Cordero helped launch and oversee many of the port’s green initiatives, including vessel speed reduction measures and the Clean Trucks Program.

“This is a very important dialogue to continue to be involved in,” he said.

The GreenPacific conference, now in its third year, was produced by Pacific Maritime Magazine in association with the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. Sponsors included BNSF Railway; Union Pacific railroad; the law firms of Flynn Delich & Wise and Keesal Young & Logan; facility planning and design company Moffat & Nichol; and the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Seattle.

The 2013 conference is already being planned for the fall of 2013.

A full wrap-up of the 2012 conference is scheduled to appear in the February edition of Pacific Maritime.