Port of Long Beach furthers energy efficiency, sustainability with new policy

Improving energy efficiency and advancing sustainability at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) is nothing new.

Crane_BridgeShipFor instance, in a May 22, 2013 news release the POLB wrote: “In 2005, the Harbor Commission adopted the ‘Green Port Policy,’ which set down the tenets that have guided the Port’s sweeping environmental programs such as the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, a joint agreement between the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles to improve air quality.”

What is new this go-around, on the other hand, is a new energy policy plan “to guide efforts that will secure a more sustainable and resilient supply of power as demand grows,” the POLB declared in the release.

So, what does this mean?

As the POLB explained, “The Energy Policy declares that the Port will implement measures to increase efficiency, conservation, resiliency, and renewable energy in collaboration with port tenants, utilities, other city departments, industry stakeholders, labor unions, the Port of Los Angeles and others.”

And what does this involve?

As it has to do with how docking vessels get power to operate critical onboard systems, ways to achieve this include electrical power generated via the ship’s own diesel engines and that which is supplied via landside means and then transferred to the ship in question by means of interconnecting cables. The second method is the one that has gained favor here.

Moreover, “‘Just as our environmental initiatives have changed the way we think about construction, operations, maintenance and properties, this energy policy adds another lens we look through when making decisions as it relates to energy in the future,’ said Port Director of Environmental Planning Richard Cameron. ‘We want to be efficient and we want to be innovative, because this keeps us competitive.’”

But it is not just this.

“In coming years, air quality efforts will continue to fuel demand for electricity at the Port, as will the introduction of cutting-edge marine terminal equipment that runs on electricity and not diesel fuel,” POLB proclaimed.

In other related POLB-centered sustainability news, from the “World’s First Hybrid Tugboat to Get a Sibling: Clean Air Grant for Port to Fund Retrofit of Foss Maritime Vessel,” POLB Aug. 18, 2010 news release, there is this: “Building on the success of Foss’ Carolyn Dorothy hybrid tug, which was launched into service at the Port of Long Beach in 2009, Foss will retrofit an existing tug with hybrid technology for service in San Pedro Bay, thanks to a $1 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to the Port. The project will be implemented through a partnership between Foss, the Port of Long Beach, and the Port of Los Angeles.”

The second tug to be “hybridized” in Foss’ Rainier, Oregon shipyard, according to the Aug. 18 release, is the Campbell Foss. The retrofit will affect battery, control and generator systems, and will save in excess of 100,000 gallons of fuel per year.

Meanwhile, the projected annual emissions savings of diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, reactive organic gases and carbon dioxide weigh in at better than 1.7 tons, 53 tons, 1.2 tons and 1,340 tons, respectively.

“‘Making use of cost-effective hybrid technology is an important part of our strategy as it allows us to use best-in-class, advanced technology to serve our customers and manage our expenses over the long term while safeguarding the environment at the same time. We have an unprecedented opportunity to transition harbor tugs around the world to vessels that deliver cleaner air and greater fuel efficiency,’” Foss Maritime Environmental and Governmental Affairs vice president Susan Hayman expressed in the Aug. 18, release.

With the adoption of this latest energy policy, the sustainability future regarding POLB ship- and shore-based operations looks even brighter.

Published by Alan Kandel