Friday, August 10, 2012

Six Shippers Commit to LA Port Clean Air Program

Six shipping carriers have agreed to become the inaugural participants in the Port of Los Angeles Environmental Ship Index, an international clean air program that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to the port.

Evergreen, Hamburg Süd North America, Inc, Hapag-Lloyd AG Maersk Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming have registered for the global program and will begin receiving incentives later this year.

“We applaud these early adopters of the ESI program and encourage not only other carriers to participate but also other ports to join this global port program,” port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said. “Growing participation among ports worldwide will increase the level of incentives available to ship operators that invest in and deploy the cleanest, most efficient and environmentally friendly fleets.”

The web-based ESI, which was developed through the International Association of Ports & Harbors’ World Ports Climate Initiative, is already underway at 14 European ports, but is the first of its kind in North America and the Pacific Rim.

The Port of Los Angeles developed its ESI with input from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and other stakeholders.

Under the program, operators with vessels calling at the port can earn an incentive ranging from $250 to $5,250 per ship call by meeting one or all of three requirements:

  • Scoring 30 or more ESI points based on a vessel’s engine specifications and emissions certification; use of low sulfur fuel, plug-in ready on-board shore power technology, and a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).
  • Deploying ships with a Tier II or Tier III engine to the port.
  • Participating in a demonstration program to test and improve vessel emission reduction technology.

The port, which says it has committed $450,000 to jumpstart the program, plans to pay incentives quarterly, with the first distribution scheduled for this October. For the first sixth months of the program, ships can qualify for the first incentive with a score of 25 points.

The lower introductory threshold is intended to encourage early participation and help operators familiarize themselves with the ESI website and reporting requirements, according to the port.

To participate in the ESI, operators must enroll their companies and vessels in the program through the IAPH/WPCI website, And to receive the incentive payment, operators must also register with the Port of Los Angeles, which can be done at Registration is free.

The port says it initially expects up to 30 percent of the ships calling at the port to qualify for the incentives, and that 30 percent participation would cut diesel particulate matter emissions by 16 tons within the first year and reduce emissions of other primary pollutants, namely nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and carbon dioxides.

The Port of Los Angeles is also touting the ESI program as an opportunity for vessel operators to get ahead of more stringent California environmental requirements before they become mandatory. On Jan. 1, 2014, statewide clean air regulations will require ships operating within 24 nautical miles of the California coastline to use fuel with a reduced sulfur content limited to 0.1 percent or less. The same standard will take effect throughout North America on Jan. 1, 2015.

Analysis Shows Pollution Reductions at Port of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach clean air programs slashed air pollution from port-related sources for the fifth year in a row, including a dramatic 75 percent reduction in airborne diesel particulates, according to an analysis of key pollutants comparing 2011 to 2005.

Over that six-year period, all key air pollutants from port-related sources were reduced, according to the study. In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides were cut 50 percent and 80 percent respectively from 2005 levels, and greenhouse gases were lowered by 23 percent.

The use of lower-sulfur, cleaner fuels by all waterfront equipment – but especially the oceangoing ships – and the phasing out of the oldest drayage trucks were the primary contributors to the air quality improvements.

On July 1, the port also implemented its “Green Ship Incentive Program,” which offers cash incentives to shipping lines for bringing the newest, cleanest cargo vessels to the Port of Long Beach. The program is the latest in a long line of efforts to improve air quality locally.

“With cleaner fuels, more shore power and other programs, we’re on track to continue to further reduce air pollution from the port,” Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Susan E. Anderson Wise said.

Each year, the port compiles an emissions inventory to calculate the amount of air pollution released from all port-related sources and compares the data with the baseline year of 2005. The latest report, which was released Aug. 6, is for the 2011 calendar year. The adjoining Port of Los Angeles released its own report Aug. 2, which found that strong anti-air pollution policies led to a decrease in cumulative harmful emissions at the port by as much as 76 percent from 2005 to 2011.

The LA study also says that container volumes increased six percent during that time period at the port. At Long Beach however, containerized cargo activity fell by 10 percent during the same timeframe.
Long Beach’s latest full pollution inventory can be seen at

Proposed Seattle Arena Threatens Port Ops, Studies Say

Three different reports presented to the Port of Seattle Commission recently state that traffic congestion and pressure on industrial businesses brought by a proposed sports facility near the waterfront could squeeze out small business, disrupt port operations and limit the potential for the port growth.

A panel of experts in transportation, maritime economics and land use presented their findings to the port Aug. 7. The discussion came a little over a week after the King County, Washington Council voted 6-3 on July 30 to move ahead with plans for a new $490 million sports arena in the SoDo area. 
The port previously urged county and city officials to conduct a thorough study on the issue before moving forward.

During the panel discussion, the three experts noted several key issues that must be addressed regarding the proposed arena, including how port terminal operations are significantly impacted on game days because game traffic makes reaching terminals difficult for trucks.

Also according to the panel, congestion increases transit time and costs and makes the gateway less attractive for customers, therefore, SoDo’s well-documented traffic management issues would theoretically worsen the situation.

Additionally, when industrial businesses are squeezed out of the waterfront area by other land uses like entertainment, they must relocate farther out, which increases the cost of doing business, according to the panel.

“People’s jobs are at stake here. Let’s take the time to analyze the full impacts and the trade-offs that will be made if the arena is built in SoDo,” Commissioner Bill Bryant said.

The panelists during the discussion were Marni Heffron, who has more than 25 years of experience as a transportation engineer and has led transportation studies for development and infrastructure projects in Seattle and at the Port of Seattle; Paul Sorenson, Principal of BST Associates, who has participated in planning, economic and financial assessments of transportation projects for 35 years; and Peter Steinbrueck of Steinbrueck Urban Strategies, who has years of experience in land use and zoning, urban design, public policy and urban planning.

Companies to Partner on Zero Emission Port Terminal Tractor

Vision Industries Corp., a developer of zero emission electric/hydrogen hybrid powered vehicles and hydrogen fueling systems, and Cargotec USA, a cargo flow efficiency company, are teaming up to complete a zero-emission terminal tractor demonstration project funded by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The project, which is funded under the ports’ Technology Advancement Program clean-air initiative, calls for demonstrating the efficacy of deploying zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-electric hybrid terminal tractors to move containerized cargo within port facilities.

Under the collaborative effort, Vision Industries will install its hybrid drive system on the Kalmar Ottawa model terminal tractor.

“We are excited to be working with Cargotec USA,” Vision Industries CEO Martin Schuermann said in a statement announcing the collaboration. “They are the market leader in terminal tractors.”

The ports’ Technology Advancement Program focuses on the development of new and emerging technologies, with the objectives being to streamline the process for reaching consensus on emission reductions achieved by various technologies, and facilitating the development of new technologies and their adoption throughout the port industry.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Air Pollution Down at Port of LA, Study Finds

Strong anti-air pollution policies at the Port of Los Angeles have led to a decrease in cumulative harmful emissions at the port by as much as 76 percent from 2005 to 2011, while container volumes increased six percent during the same time period, according to data in a newly-released study by the port.
On a year-to-year basis, there has been a decrease of up to seven percent of harmful emissions, according to the port’s 2011 Inventory of Air Emissions, which was released Aug. 2.

The data also shows Los Angeles is three years ahead of its 2014 targets for reducing two key pollutants – diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxides – and the port is also on track to meet more stringent 2023 emission reduction goals.

The study’s results prove that the investment the port and its partners have made in clean air continues to pay off, POLA Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said.

“By developing and executing our Clean Air Action Plan and fine-tuning our pollution reduction strategies on a regular basis, we are cutting harmful air emissions from ships, trains, trucks, harbor craft and cargo-handling equipment while operating a prosperous, world-class seaport,” she said.

“Our customers and industry stakeholders – which run the operations that keep the cargo moving through Los Angeles – also play a substantial role in this positive trend through their investments in cleaner equipment and more sustainable practices,” Knatz said.

The new Inventory of Air Emissions reports data from the 2011 calendar year and compares it with data collected annually since the baseline year of 2005. It shows that Los Angeles has achieved the greatest clean air gains in reducing emissions of sulfur oxides, or SOx, which plummeted 76 percent over the study period.

Over the same seven years, diesel particulate emissions and emissions from related pollutants were reduced 71 percent  according to the study, while NOx emissions dropped 51 percent. SOx and NOx are key components of smog, and DPM is an identified toxic air contaminant and known carcinogen.

In 2011, nine percent of all SOx emissions in the South Coast Air Basin were associated with Port operations – a nearly two-thirds drop from 25 percent in 2005. Likewise, diesel particulate emissions from the port as a percentage of total DPM in the region shrank to three percent in 2011 – down from 10 percent in 2005. NOx emissions from port-related sources were three percent in 2011 – down from five percent in 2005.

Among the strategies the port has employed in pollution reduction efforts include its Vessel Speed Reduction Program; low-sulfur fuel requirements for ships; the Clean Truck Program whose final ban on drayage trucks with pre-2007 engines took effect Jan. 1, 2012; engine retrofits and gradual vessel replacement of older harbor craft; retrofit and turnover of cargo handling equipment; and replacement of older rail equipment with cleaner line haul and switcher locomotives.

Highlights of air emissions inventory can be seen at

Two New Commissioners Join Port of Oakland

Two new Port of Oakland Commissioners were sworn in by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan on August 1st.

The newcomers, Cestra “Ces” Butner and Bryan Parker, were recently nominated by Quan and appointed by the Oakland City Council on July 26. They replace Pamela Calloway, who until last month had been the board’s president, and Margaret Gordon, an environmental activist who served one term on the board. Quan did not support new four-year terms on the board for either outgoing commissioner.

“I welcome the opportunity to work with Commissioners Butner and Parker to continue guiding the port toward a sustainable future,” new Board of Port Commissioners President Gilda Gonzales said in a prepared statement. “Their practical business experiences will be welcome additions as we continue our relentless focus on our core aviation, maritime and commercial real estate businesses in fulfillment of our duties under state law as trustees of state tidelands.”

Butner, who has lived in Oakland since 1981, is president, CEO and owner of Horizon Beverage Company, an Oakland-based beverage distributorship that supplies retailers in Northern Alameda County and Western Contra Costa County.

Parker is vice president of Davita, Inc., a Fortune 500 company that provides dialysis service and education for patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. His experience also includes time in investment banking, operations management and law, according to the port.

Butner and Parker are expected to join the Commission at an upcoming special meeting scheduled for Aug. 16.

Port of Portland to Host ‘Seaport Celebration’

The Port of Portland, Oregon will allow the general public behind the fences at Terminal 4 for the first time later this month as part of its 2012 Seaport Celebration event.

Parking and admission are free for the event, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 18. This year’s Seaport Celebration features live music and shows, $5 jet boat tours, interactive activities for kids and adults, food carts representing trade partners, giveaways and prizes.

New to the lineup this year is a special, two-hour Portland Spirit river cruise for $10.

Events in previous years have brought the public to Terminals 2 and 6, but this would be the first year for the 280-acre Terminal 4, which is in the heart of the St. Johns neighborhood and is home to a distribution center for Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles; liquid agricultural fertilizers for International Raw Materials; soda ash used in the manufacture of glass; and a flour mill.

The terminal is located at 11040 N. Lombard St., on the Willamette River adjacent to Cathedral Park. It offers views of the river, Forest Park and St. John’s Bridge.

This year’s Seaport Celebration is sponsored by various local and regional businesses, including: Gunderson, Fred Meyer, Portland Spirit, Auto Warehousing Company, Lower Willamette Group, Vigor Industrial, City of Portland Office of Healthy Working Rivers, Kinder Morgan, Portland Harbor Partnership, Schnitzer Steel, Toyota Logistics Services, Union Pacific and Shaver Transportation.
Additional details about the event are available at

Port Engineer Named LA Public Servant of Year

Port of Los Angeles engineer Shaun Shahrestani received the “LA Public Servant of the Year Award” during the third annual Greater Los Angeles Engineer of the Year Gala Aug. 2.

Shahrestani was recognized for his role as chief harbor engineer of construction at the Port of LA, where he’s responsible for construction management and delivery of a wide variety of infrastructure and maritime-related facilities at the 7,500-acre port complex.

“We’re fortunate to have Shaun’s experience, talent and leadership here at the port,” POLA Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said. “We’re spending about a million dollars a day on infrastructure and Shaun and his team have done an outstanding job making sure that those projects are completed on time and on budget.”

Shahrestani, a 29-year City of Los Angeles employee, has been responsible for the design and construction of several major port development projects during his career. He served as program manager of the $500 million Pier 400 container terminal construction project, and has managed key Capital Improvement Projects, such as the Berth 100 container terminal and Main Channel Deepening projects.

The award was presented by the Friends of Engineering and Computer Science Technology, a nonprofit organization affiliated with California State University, Los Angeles. Shahrestani is a CSULA alumnus.

West Coast Ferry Projects

By Kathy Smith

Newbuild ferry activities are increasing in the State of Washington and Alaska, and state-of-the-art technologies and materials are definitely playing key roles.

At the end of June, the Rich Passage 1, a 118-passenger ferry began service between Bremerton and Seattle. Built by Bellingham, Washington’s All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) and owned by Kitsap Transit, the hydrofoil-assisted vessel was built for low-wake research purposes; its main objective to create an ultra-low wake energy hull design that can be used for high-speed passenger transport on wake-sensitive routes.

“Low-wake technology really hasn’t existed for high-speed ferry service in Washington State,” says Joe Hudspeth, AAM Business Development Manager and Associate Co-Chair for the Western region of the Passenger Vessel Association. “This new vessel is going through a series of test phases to prove that you can have high-speed passenger ferry service that will not erode the beaches.”
Based on a design by New Zealand’s Teknicraft Design Ltd., the ferry has a unique hull with a symmetrical bow that transitions to an asymmetrical tunnel, and the hull shape is good for passenger comfort and seakeeping as evidenced by the fact that AAM’s clients complain that they no longer sell seasickness products.

In order to decrease vessel weight and make it ride more smoothly through the water, the hull was built in aluminum. It features a composite superstructure as well as a composite carbon fiber hydrofoil. The Naiad control systems for the adjustable composite hydrofoil and wake mitigating interceptors have been integrated with GPS technology for the lowest wake signatures, and the system will also make adjustments for optimizing performance and fuel efficiency when wake mitigation is not the critical operation. Four Caterpillar C18 ACERT engines fit with CleanAIR Permit filters help reduce up to 99 percent of harmful emissions.

“We are really excited about having the partnerships in place to have designed this ultra low-wake vessel because we see such a marketable opportunity to take it not only to other parts of the country but into other foreign markets as well,” says Hudspeth.

Seattle-based Kvichak Marine Industries, a recognized worldwide leader in the design and construction of high-quality, hardworking aluminum vessels, is currently building a 65-foot, 150-passenger catamaran for the Chemehuevi Transit Authority of Lake Havasu, California. The ferry, scheduled for delivery this October, will provide scheduled passenger service between Lake Havasu City, Arizona and Lake Havasu Landing, California.

The vessel has recently completed the metal fabrication stage, an in-house design featuring single-chine hulls with a Z-bow configuration to minimize draft and provide a maximized waterline length for overall propulsion efficiency. It will be powered by twin MTU series 60 diesel engines, rated for 600 HP at 2,100 RPM and fitted to ZF 550 marine gears. A conventional propeller drive will provide an efficient service speed of 20+ knots.

The design was developed to provide a smooth and stable ride when encountering the short wind chop that can be common on Lake Havasu, and a modular configuration allows over-the-road transportation and simple reassembly on site.

Sales Manager Art Parker reports that while the demand for passenger vessels and ferries tends to be cyclical, Kvichak has seen a trend toward more fuel-efficient craft and an increased interest in green materials and designs. “For example, something as simple as larger, quieter exhaust mufflers can reduce the sound levels both on board and in the surrounding area,” he says. “Additionally we see an increased focus on lifecycle costs and how they can be reduced through high-quality builds with emphasis on ease of access and maintenance.”

Washington State Ferries are in the process of building 144-car Olympic Class ferries, and have contracted with Vigor Industrial’s US Fab Division for design and construction. Construction of the first ferry began earlier this year and delivery is expected in 2014, when the M/V Evergreen State turns 60 years old, and a second new ferry will begin construction later this year, with a planned delivery during early 2015.

Bryan Nichols, Sales Representative for Vigor Seattle says the ferries have been designed using Ship Constructor software, and Vigor is partnering with Washington State companies Nichols Bros. Boat Builders and Jesse Engineering to build the ships, with the Everett Shipyard doing the final outfitting and sea trials. “We’ve got a group that makes sure we get this vessel together in a timely fashion and on budget for the State,” he says.

The new ferries are being redesigned for better fuel efficiency and to meet all current regulations and future needs, along with having up-to-date ADA (disability) access. “The hull design was done by Seattle’s Guido Perla and Associates, who ensured it’s optimized for stability and fuel efficiency,” adds Nichols. “All the systems on board are updated to meet current regulations and future needs of the passengers. The accommodations have all been first class and Washington State Ferries has always done a good job of keeping their accommodations to a high standard, so this will be no different.”

Powering the vessel will be two EMD 12-710 EPA Tier 3 diesel engines which will drive two Rolls-Royce controllable pitch propellers via a reduction gear. Each end of the vessel has one propeller, gearbox, and engine. Each gearbox is connected to a high-speed shaft to allow for operational flexibility as well as optimum loading of the engines during transit.

“We are excited for other opportunities that exist in the maritime industry for similar types of vessels in our area,” says Nichols. He sees opportunities to build more ferries for Washington State Ferries as well as BC Ferries and the Alaska Marine Highway System. “We’re excited that we’re able to increase our production and now start to market this type of product.”

Nichols Bros. Boat Builders’ part in the first 144-car ferry is building a 273-foot section. “It’s about 85 feet wide and about five stories high,” says Matt Nichols. “It’s 40 percent completed now and when ready early next year, will be moved onto a barge to be brought down to Vigor. The same dollies we roll it onto the barge with, we will keep on the barge, lash everything down and then roll it onto the hull that is being built right now.”

Last year, the company also helped Vigor finish three, 64-car ferries for Washington State Ferries. “We were working with Todd Shipyard; they hadn’t been bought by Vigor at that point,” he says. “We built the superstructures for those.”

In addition to the ferry work, Nichols says he’s been keeping an eye on several of their clients’ catamarans. For example, the company built four Catalina ferries that have been working very well. “We built two that have the four-engine configuration,” says Nichols. “The more engines, the more power you put to them, the more fuel you are going to burn, too. We have found that by playing with them a little, instead of burning 500 gallons an hour, you can get it down to 300 gallons and only be about 10 minutes off the schedule in a 26-mile trip to Catalina. However, with the four engines, you also have reliability. You can lose an engine, a gear box, a water jet and still have 90 percent MCR.”

In fact, Nichols says that when running the four engine catamarans, operators are increasing fuel efficiency by backing the horsepower off on one side going to the Island, and doing the reverse on the way back, which saves 200 gallons an hour. “I think you are going to see more of the four engine type catamarans in the future.”

Alaska Ship & Drydock (ASD), a subsidiary of Vigor Industrial, is working with the State of Alaska as a consultant to the Alaska Marine Highway System on the design phase for the Alaska Class Ferry Project.

The new ferries will eventually replace the aging fleet of vessels, some built in the 1960s, and will be state-of-the-art passenger ships that will be environmentally-responsible and versatile, with new technologies and incorporate information gathered from past ferry builds and operations.

Currently just one new ferry is the focus and the design/build phase, and is being carried out under the Construction Manager General Contractor (CMCG) process that normally applies to the vertical construction industry. ASD’s Doug Ward, Director of Development, says for complex projects the CMCG has an established track record of staying closer to schedule and closer to budget than other forms of government procurement.

“This is definitely a new process for the Alaska Marine Highway System,” says Jeremy Woodrow, Assistant Chief Communications Officer, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. “The State and Alaska Ship & Drydock are taking the cautious approach, making sure we do everything correctly. The ferries will serve as day boats in inland waters, and unlike our fast ferries, this first one will be a monohull design.”

With the CMCG process, ASD will be allowed the first option to bid on construction of the first ferry. “One of the things the lawmakers in Alaska have said is important is that this will be an Alaska ferry designed and built in Alaska for Alaskans,” adds Woodrow, “so allowing Alaska Ship & Drydock that first option will help reach that goal.” The preliminary design completion date has been set for July 2013.