Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long Beach Approves Anti-Pollution Incentive Program

The Port of Long Beach’s harbor commission on May 21 adopted the latest in a series of enticement plans designed to curb air pollution from incoming cargo ships.

Under the port’s Green Ship Incentive Program, which is expected to launch in July and continue indefinitely, vessels with certain engine types would receive financial compensation for each time they call at Long Beach.

Ships meeting the Tier 2 engine standard would be paid $2,500 per call at the port, while ships with Tier 3 engines would receive $6,000 per call.

Long Beach estimates that in the first year of the program, 60 Tier 2 vessels would make a total of 120 calls at the port, representing about five percent of total calls. In 2011, six ships with Tier 2 engines called at Long Beach during the year, according to the port.

If the program meets participation goals, NOx emissions could be reduced by about 22.7 tons during the program’s first year, according to estimates, with a total payout of about $295,000 for the year.

Tier 2 engines offer a 15 percent reduction in NOx emissions, compared to Tier 1 engines, while Tier 3 engines are expected to offer an 80 percent reduction in NOx, according to the port.

Tier 3 engines, however, aren’t expected to become standard within the industry until 2016.

The port estimates that by 2023, when 90 percent of ships are anticipated to have Tier 2 or Tier 3 engines, 2,700 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions would be cut annually at Long Beach.

The Port of Los Angeles passed its own version of the green ship program earlier this month. Under it, about 30 percent of the ships calling at the port are expected to qualify for the financial incentives, with diesel particulate pollution expected to be reduced by 16 tons during the program’s first year.