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'Cold ironing' launched in California

Project enables ships to cut bunker consumption and air pollution.



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Updated on 14 Nov 2008 09:32 GMT

Launching a new "green" era in shipping at the Port of Long Beach, the K Line container vessel Long Beach Bridge this week became the port's first ship to plug in to clean electrical power and shut down its diesel engines at berth for major air quality improvements.

A dockside commissioning ceremony Tuesday at the International Transportation Service, Inc. (ITS) terminal marked the completion of an $8 million project that installed electrical power outlets for ships docking at Pier G.

Plug-in shoreside power, also known as "cold-ironing," allows ships to shut down their auxiliary engines while the ship is docked, for a 100 percent reduction of air pollution at berth. Without shoreside electricity, vessels would use their own diesel-powered auxiliary engines to power refrigerated containers, pumps, lighting, air conditioning and computers while at dock.

"Shoreside power is a top environmental initiative under our Green Port Policy," said Harbor Commission President James C. Hankla. "Because many ships burn unclean bunker fuel, shutting down their engines achieves major air quality improvements immediately."

Ships account for about half of port-related air pollution, much of it from the vessels' auxiliary engines. Shutting down a single ship's diesel engines at berth for a day achieves the same air quality improvements as taking 33,000 cars off Southern California roads.

The new ITS shoreside power installation is part of a 10-year project - costing almost $800-million - to create thousands of additional jobs and a more efficient and environmentally friendly container terminal at Pier G. The first phases included the shoreside power installation and construction of a new deep-water berth (Berth G232) at the southwest end of the Pier G.

The project also includes a new electrical substation added by Southern California Edison to accommodate the increased demand for electricity at Pier G, since plugged-in ships each require as much as six megawatts of power (enough to power 4,000 homes). As part of its "green" lease with the Port for the ITS property, K Line agreed to retrofit all five of its ships berthing at G232 to accommodate shoreside power.

"This is the Port of Long Beach's first shoreside power berth -- a model for what we will be doing at other terminals to improve air quality," said Port Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. "Because of this, all of us and all of our Port neighbors can breathe cleaner air."

"ITS and K Line are proud to partner with the Port of Long Beach on this important environmental project to reduce air pollution from shipping operations," said ITS President Fumito Kawamata.

The project was designed by Port of Long Beach engineering staff and the firm Moffatt and Nichol, and constructed by Manson Construction Co. of San Pedro.






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