Tuesday, July 30, 2013

San Pedro Bay Ports Honor Air Quality Award Winners

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach recently honored five companies for their efforts in fighting harmful emissions during the 2013 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Air Quality Awards in San Pedro.

The CAAP Air Quality Awards originated in 2007, after the ports approved the historic San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Port tenants and other port-related businesses are eligible to submit award entries, which are judged by a panel composed of port staff and representatives from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Awards this year were given in three categories, including:

Air Quality Leadership at the Corporate Level, where the recipients were global shipping and logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL); and container transportation, logistics and terminal company OOCL USA.

In 2012, WWL’s new, ultra-modern Salome vessel was the first to qualify for an incentive under the Port of Long Beach’s Green Ship Incentive Program, a voluntary clean air initiative that rewards ocean carriers whose ships are equipped with Tier II or III engines.

In 2012, OOCL signed a “green” lease with the Port of Long Beach pledging to reduce harmful emissions by 50 percent, even as the company plans to double growth.  OOCL says it plans to achieve this by using shore power to reduce emissions while at port, as well as by continuing its participation in the ports’ Vessel Speed Reduction Program, an initiative that involves the lowering of vessel speeds to reduce emissions when ships approach the port. Also in 2012, OOCL joined the Port of Los Angeles’ Environmental Ship Index incentive program, a voluntary clean air initiative that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to the Port of Los Angeles.

The second category in which companies were honored was Innovative Air Quality Improvement Technologies, and the two recipients were Foss Maritime Co. and APL.

In 2012, Foss voluntarily retrofitted another tugboat for operation in the harbor as well, creating the worlds second hybrid tug.

APL, meanwhile, was the first company to install and test “seawater scrubber” technology on a container ship calling at the two ports. The technology involved the installation of a single low-maintenance seawater scrubbing device on the ship’s three auxiliary engines, which helped reduce contaminants in the exhaust stream and removed waste from the wash water prior to discharge overboard. The scrubber reduced SOx emissions by as much as 99 percent and 70 percent for PM when running on HFO (heavy fuel oil), and 97 percent for SOx and 78 percent for PM when using MGO (marine gas oil).

The third award category was Innovative Operations That Improve Air Quality. This award went to trucking company Knight Transportation.

Half of the company’s roughly 300 trucks operating at the two ports are 2010 or newer, which exceeds current requirements. Engines on the 2010 and newer trucks have reduced CO emissions by about 18 percent and NOx emissions by 90 percent, according to estimates. Knight has also modified about 97 percent of its van trailers with blade technology that reduces fuel consumption by seven percent. In addition, 100 percent of its tractors are equipped with diesel-fired bunk heaters, thus reducing a driver’s need to idle trucks during the cooler winter months.

“Because of the innovative initiatives of our partners, overall diesel emissions are down by an amazing 75 percent, and we continue to advance toward our goal of zero emissions,” Port of Long Beach Acting Deputy Executive Director Noel Hacegaba said.  “We congratulate these companies whose initiatives are setting the standard for ports around the world.”