Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Port of Oakland Completes Shoreside Power Infrastructure

Officials from the Port of Oakland, US Maritime Administration and Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and other agencies gathered Nov. 8 to mark the completion of construction of shoreside power infrastructure at the Port of Oakland.

Shore power – the shore-to-ship connection that provides electrical power to the ship, thereby significantly reducing diesel and other air pollutant emissions from ships while they are at berth – is being implemented at the Port of Oakland in a two-phase, multi-year program covering 11 berths. The port has completed construction of the new electrical infrastructure system, with final testing of the system scheduled to be complete before the end of the year.

The total cost for just the shoreside infrastructure was about $70 million, with the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) contributed $12.8 million.

“The Port of Oakland’s shore power project received federal funding through a very competitive TIGER grant process because this project is recognized as creating a valuable, sustainable, green trade corridor,” MARAD Associate Administrator Keith Lesnick said.

An additional $20 million was awarded to the port by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)/Federal Highway Administration.

In 2008, the California Air Resources Board adopted a directive to require reductions of air pollutants from ocean-going vessels. The rule, commonly referred to as the “shore power regulation,” requires that all operators of container, passenger and refrigerated cargo vessels that visit California ports more than 25 times a year employ an emission reduction system for their fleet by Jan. 1, 2014.

“In less than two months, container ships will be plugging in at California’s ports as part of an estimated $1.8 billion industry investment in shore power,” Pacific Merchant Shipping Association Vice President Mike Jacob said. “Our members are investing billions of dollars worldwide in new ocean-going vessels outfitted with the latest technology. We’ve been retrofitting hundreds of existing ships that call on California ports and installing the necessary terminal infrastructure for the 2014 transition.”