Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LA Harbor Tour Boat Approved for Landmark Retrofit

The Port of Los Angeles says its 42-year-old harbor tour boat is poised to become the first harbor craft of its kind retrofitted with a system that reduces emissions and fuel usage by more than 95 percent.

The Angelena II has received approval from the US Coast Guard for installation of a hybrid propulsion system which, if completed as planned this spring, would be the first such system in a vessel of its kind, according to the port.

“The Angelena II is an invaluable business and public education tool, and now we can also use it to demonstrate yet another emerging technology that can reduce emissions in ports and harbors around the world,” port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said.

The 73-foot tour boat, which the port bought in 1988, is used to highlight the capabilities of port facilities. LA provides several hundred tours annually on the boat, which can take up to 40 guests on 60- to 90-minute harbor tours.

In 2011 alone, the boat hosted more than 4,000 visiting sightseers, including port customers, constituents, public leaders, foreign dignitaries, media members and stakeholders.

Since its construction in 1970, the Angelena II had been powered by two 350-horsepower diesel engines, but as of September 2011, they no longer met California emissions requirements.

The port says it received a grant of about $500,000 from the US Department of Energy to upgrade the vessel power system to cleaner technology, and is spending about $200,000 for the cost to replace the existing diesel engines, which are a Coast Guard requirement for back-up power.

Installation and repair work is being done by LA city workers, including electricians, carpenters and others.