New Pollution-Scrubbing Technology Approved

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“Courtesy of the Port of Long Beach.”

“Courtesy of the Port of Long Beach.”

The California Air Resources Board has approved a new technology by a Carson-based company that uses specialized barges which connect to the exhaust ports of container ships to scrub pollution.

In 2013, the Port of Long Beach provided about $2 million in seed money to help test the Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System, or AMECS. Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc. (ACTI) can now market AMECS to vessel operators as an alternative to container ships plugging into the electrical grid to reduce emissions while at berth.

Container and cruise ships must significantly reduce at-berth emissions to meet state regulations, but the existing “shore power” option requires retrofits to each vessel. According to ACTI, the AMECS barge system can meet the state standards by removing 90 to 99 percent of harmful emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter without requiring vessel retrofits.

With an emissions inventory released this month showing already record-low pollution levels at the Port of Long Beach, officials hailed the regulatory approval as another option to advance the Port’s environmental goals to near-zero and zero emission levels.

“We’re thrilled any time we can find more tools to reduce emissions and continue to improve community health. That’s why we fund projects like the demonstration and testing of these new technologies, through our Technology Advancement Program,” said Board of Harbor Commissioners President Lori Ann Guzmán. “We’ve made a lot of progress in reducing air pollution, and we are nurturing new technologies like these to help us do even more.”

“The California Air Resources Board’s approval of ACTI’s project as an alternative to the at-berth emissions reductions rule provides the flexibility our shipping lines need while protecting our environment and creating new jobs for our communities,” said Commissioner Rich Dines.

“We’re building the Port of the Future here in Long Beach,” said Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Jon Slangerup. “Moving cargo efficiently is important to that mission, as is doing our work cleanly. We’re happy to have this technology as an option as we fulfill our mission responsibly and innovatively.”

The California Air Resources Board’s approval of AMECS on container ships will allow ACTI to begin the process of testing the system on other vessel types.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $180 billion in trade annually, supporting hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.

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