Tuesday, May 7, 2013

POLB Invests in Electrification Efforts

The Port of Long Beach, its terminal customers and shipping lines are investing millions of dollars in new equipment to allow vessels to use clean electricity at berth and cut air pollution in advance of upcoming state deadlines, officials said May 6 during a special “Shore Power Summit.”

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners hosted the summit at the port to highlight the industry’s efforts to meet the shore power requirement. The summit brought together environmental regulators, seaport terminal operators, elected officials and utility representatives to discuss the wide array of investments and other preparations.

Long Beach says it’s completing $100 million worth of dockside power hookups, vessel operators are retrofitting older ships for shore power and building new ones, and Southern California Edison is installing a new transmission system to meet the increased power demand. The preparations are being made as California’s shore power deadline approaches: by Jan. 1, 2014, vessel operators must plug in half of all cargo container, cruise and reefer vessels and eliminate half of their emissions.

The shore power regulation came about thanks in part to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles crafting their 2006 joint San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Before the state regulation was created, the ports’ CAAP established a goal to use shore power at container terminals. Several Port of Long Beach terminals are already equipped with shore power.

Shoreside power can cut air pollution from ships at berth by 95 percent when ships use such power for their power needs at berth – lights, pumps, communications and refrigeration – instead of running diesel-fueled auxiliary engines.