Port Officials Detail Efforts to Cut Air Pollution Utilizing Shore Power

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Shore Power

Photo from Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach, its terminal customers and shipping lines are investing millions of dollars in equipment to allow vessels to “plug in” to clean electricity at berth and dramatically cut air pollution in advance of upcoming state deadlines, officials reported Monday at a special “Shore Power Summit.”

When ships use shore power, they tap landside electricity for their power needs at berth – lights, pumps, communications, refrigeration – instead of running diesel-fueled auxiliary on-board engines. Shore power cuts air pollution from ships at berth by 95 percent.

The Port is completing $100 million worth of dockside power hookups, vessel operators are retrofitting older ships for shore power and building new ones, and Southern California Edison is installing a new transmission system to meet the increased power demand. The preparations are being made as California’s shore power deadline approaches – by Jan. 1, 2014, vessel operators must plug in half of all cargo container, cruise and reefer vessels and eliminate half of their emissions.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners hosted the summit at the Port of Long Beach to highlight the industry’s efforts to meet the shore power requirement. The summit brought together environmental regulators, seaport terminal operators, elected officials and utility representatives to discuss the wide array of investments and other preparations.

The shore power regulation came about thanks to the pioneering commitment by the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles as part of their 2006 joint San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Before the state regulation was created, the ports’ CAAP established a goal to use shore power at container terminals. Several Port of Long Beach terminals are already equipped with shore power.

“Thanks to everyone who gathered here today ― the industry, regulators, the Port and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster ― we were able to come together to share valuable information and experience in this important effort to bring shore power to the docks,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Susan E. Anderson Wise. “It’s clear that the industry and the ports are working diligently to improve air quality and reduce the health effects of port operations.”

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports and a gateway for trans-Pacific trade. More than $155 billion of cargo moves through the Port each year, sustaining 300,000 jobs in the Southern California region alone.

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