Friday, April 6, 2018

Long Beach Reaches for Zero Emissions

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Long Beach, Southern California Edison and the California Energy Commission officials on Wednesday kicked off the country’s biggest port pilot program for zero-emissions cranes and other cargo-handling equipment at Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J.

“The Zero-Emissions Terminal Transition Project kicks off a new era in transportation electrification and the Port’s own transformation to zero-emissions,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We are grateful for the partnerships with the Energy Commission and Southern California Edison that are making this a reality.”

This comes at the heels of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports’ 2017 approval of their updated Clean Air Action Plan, which pushed a goal of zero emissions terminal-related equipment by 2030.

Thanks in large part to a $9.7 million California Energy Commission grant, three port marine terminals, including the SSA-operated Pacific Container Terminal, will be able to test 25 zero- or near zero-emissions vehicles for a year.

The project calls for converting nine diesel-electric rubber-tire gantry cranes into all electric equipment at one terminal, buying a dozen battery-electric yard tractors for two terminals, and turning four LNG trucks into plug-in hybrid-electric trucks for a drayage company.

“SSA Terminals appreciates the confidence that the Port of Long Beach has shown in our company by selecting us to be part of this major project to electrify the nine large container-handling yard cranes at our Pacific Container Terminal," said Paul Gagnon, Vice President of SSA Marine Terminals. “We hope that this partnership will continue as we all strive for cleaner air quality.”

The project is anticipated to curb more than 1,323 tons of greenhouse gases and 27 tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxides annually, according to the port.