Tuesday, December 16, 2014

POLB Approves Pollution Control Incentive Program

By Mark Edward Nero

The Long Beach Harbor Commission on Dec. 9 approved a new incentive program to reward shipping lines for taking part in the testing of new air pollution-control technology for vessels.

The first to benefit from the new incentive are vessel operators participating in a Port of Long Beach demonstration of a barge-mounted emissions-capture system for ships at berth.

The port says that by waiving the dockage fee, the new incentive program encourages vessel operators to participate in the testing of the barge-mounted system and other similar technology.

A barge-based Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System, or AMECS, is currently undergoing testing at the port. The AMECS uses a 115-foot-high tower mounted on a barge to connect to a ship and vacuum up emissions. The gases are sent through filters and scrubbers remove pollutants. The developers of the system are seeking approval from state regulators to qualify as an alternative to shore power for container ships and will also be tested on other types of cargo ships.

“This incentive will allow more ships to participate in these important demonstration projects, so we are very happy to offer it,” Harbor Commission President Doug Drummond said. “The Port of Long Beach is committed to being a leader in air pollution reduction and elimination. We’ve made great strides in that area, but we’re far from finished.”

The port estimates 40 vessel calls annually will be eligible for the incentive over the next two years.