Friday, June 28, 2013

Shipping, Cruise Lines Honored by LA Port

The Port of Los Angeles on June 25 honored 26 shipping and cruise lines for participating in the port’s Vessel Speed Reduction Program initiative, which involves the lowering of vessel speeds when ships approach the port.

The VSRP, which was established in 2001, is a voluntary program designed to reduce emissions from ocean-going vessels by slowing their speeds as they approach or depart the port at either 20 or 40 nautical miles offshore. The port pays incentives to shipping lines that achieve a 90 percent or higher participation rate in VSRP in a calendar year.

The port says that in 2012, it achieved 100-percent compliance for 543 vessels at 20 nautical miles and 386 vessels at 40 nautical miles. The voluntary actions helped reduce 73 tons of diesel particulate matter as well as 740 tons of sulfur oxide and 981 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions.

VSRP honorees this year included APL, China Navigation Co., China Shipping, CMA CGM, Crystal Cruises, CSAV, Evergreen Marine Corp., Grieg Star Shipping A/S, Hamburg SUD, Hanjin Shipping Co., Hapag-Lloyd AG, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Kawasaki Kisen Kaish, Maersk Line, Mitsui Bulkship, Mitsui OSK Lines, MSC Mediterranean Shipping, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Nissan Motor Car Carrier, Norwegian Cruise Line, Orient Overseas Container Line, Princess Cruises, Saga Forest Carriers Intl. AS, Tesoro, Tokyo Marine Co. and Yang Ming Marine Transport.

Additionally, for the first time, the port also honored 12 ship carriers for their participation in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI), an international clean air program rewarding ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to the port.

The program, which is also underway at several large European ports, involves a web-based tool that tracks and rewards vessel operators for voluntary engine, fuel and technology enhancements that reduce emissions from ships beyond the regulatory environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization. Vessels calling on the port can earn financial incentives by meeting certain environmental and emission requirements tracked by the web-based tool.

Honored for their participation in the ESI program were K-Line America, APL, CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Hamburg Sud, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., MOL, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, OOCL and Yang Ming Marine Transport.

“We applaud our shipping and cruise lines for embracing our vision for a greener, cleaner port,” Port of LA Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said. “Our customers’ voluntary participation in these important emission reduction programs greatly contributes to better, healthier air quality in and around the San Pedro Bay.”