By Mark Edward Nero
The Port of Long Beach revealed March 2 that it is poised to receive a major grant to fund one of the largest demonstration projects for zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment in the United States.
The California Energy Commission has approved awarding a $9.7 million grant to the port that involves the design and creation of 25 new or converted electric cargo handling vehicles to be demonstrated for 12 months in the Port of Long Beach at terminals operated by SSA Marine, International Transportation Service (ITS), Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT), and logistics company Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI).
The $9.7 million grant would pay for majority of the $13.7 million project.
The demonstration project includes the conversion of nine diesel-electric rubber tire gantry cranes into fully electric equipment for SSA Marine terminal, the purchase of 12 battery-electric yard tractors for ITS and LBCT, and the conversion of TTSI’s four underpowered Class 8 liquefied natural gas trucks into plug-in hybrid-electric trucks, which are to be outfitted with a software system that enables them to be programmed to operate only in zero-emissions mode near communities around the Port of Long Beach.
The project is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gases by more than 1,323 tons and smog-causing nitrogen oxides by 27 tons, according to the port, while the switch to zero-emissions equipment is expected to save more than 270,000 gallons of diesel fuel.