Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Air Board Approves Ship Emissions Capturing System

By Mark Edward Nero

Clean Air Engineering-Maritime on July 1 said it has received California Air Resources Board approval for the first commercially ready ship emissions capturing system, called the Maritime Emissions Treatment System (METS).

The METS is mounted and deployed from a barge positioned alongside ships berthed at the Port of Los Angeles. The system is positioned over vessels’ smoke stacks and captures and treats more than 90 percent of particulate (PM), NOx, SO2 and related diesel pollutants emitted.

The Air Board testing, which began in 2014, included performance evaluations of the METS on five separate vessels for a minimum of 200 hours. CARB approved the system by executive order on June 26.

The proprietary treatment technology was developed in collaboration with Tri-Mer Corporation of Owosso, Mich., a supplier of catalytic ceramic filter systems. METS is the first CARB-approved alternative to plugging in to shore-side power – also called cold-ironing.

“The METS-1 will have an immediate, direct and positive impact on the communities surrounding the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” CAEM President Nick Tonsich said. “In the long term, given the fact that there are so many ships in the world’s fleet without cold-ironing capability, the METS system could have a profound impact on the entire shipping industry and our global environment.”

The Port of Los Angeles has been a leader in development of technologies to control at-berth emissions. Currently, 24 berths at the Port of Los Angeles are equipped for shore power, the most of any port in the world. Using shore power while at berth eliminates upwards of a ton of NOx emissions per vessel per 24-hour period. Similar results have been demonstrated by the new METS alternative.

Partial funding for the METS project came from a $1.5 million grant from the Port of Los Angeles’s Technology Advancement Program (TAP) to TraPac, LLC, a Port of LA container terminal. TraPac contracted with CAEM to conduct research and develop the METS project. TraPac has entered into a service agreement for use of the METS-1 at TraPac on all vessels that are not capable of using an existing Alternative Marine Power (AMP) system. Provisions in the TAP grant make it possible for the Port of Los Angeles to receive repayment of the grant proceeds.