L.A. port partners embark on innovative emissions-control project

Winds, in blowing inland off the oceans, typically don’t bring dirt onshore with them. But, under certain circumstances, this is exactly what happens. And, the “dirt” is in the form of polluted air.

At first blush, that seems an incongruous idea. That idea, upon much closer examination, isn’t so far-fetched after all.

kandel-ship-1Case in point: For any place that sources pollution, prevailing winds can carry it off, and the pollution can travel considerable distances away, and across entire oceans even, and hence the basis for the earlier comment. Ozone pollution from Asia has been found to be present along America’s west coast but, there is ongoing debate as to the amount. And, then there is that produced from vessels navigating the high seas that can also blow onshore particularly when such are located not far offshore.

It is this pollution from these sources that can, at ports, be problematic. In today’s thread we look at what one port is doing to address this. What makes this different is the approach the Port of Los Angeles is taking.

“Building on a shared commitment to eliminate pollution from port-related operations, Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals L.P. and the Port of Los Angeles are launching the Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project, a full-scale, real-time demonstration of zero and near-zero emission technologies at a working marine terminal,” the Port of Los Angeles in a May 26, 2016 news release expressed.

“At full build out, Pasha will be the world’s first marine terminal able to generate all of its energy needs from renewable sources. The project is funded in part by a $14.5 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants. As part of the project, Pasha will integrate a fleet of new and retrofitted zero-emission electric vehicles and cargo-handling equipment into its terminal operations and demonstrate the latest generation of advanced technology for capturing ship emissions from vessels unable to plug into shore power at berth,” as explained in the “Pasha, Port of Los Angeles and California Air Resources Board Partner on Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project: Project Awarded $14 Million for Testing Emerging Zero and Near-Zero Emission Technologies to Bring Cleaner Air to Port-Adjacent Communities Sooner,” Port of Los Angeles news release.

Emissions-suppressing technologies, equipment and vehicles will, according to a related fact sheet, include:


  • ShoreCat – a system to capture and treat on-dock vessel emissions


  • Photovoltaic (PV), energy control, battery storage and charging systems


  • Electric forklifts, top handlers and yard tractors and over-the-road drayage trucks

Implementation of the project starts this month, according to information presented in the release.

“The comprehensive strategy is expected to reduce more than 3,200 tons per year of greenhouse gases and nearly 28 tons annually of diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and other harmful emissions from operations at the nation’s busiest container port. The clean air gains equate to taking 14,100 cars a day off the road in the South Coast Air Basin,” the Port of Los Angeles went on to state in the release.

The program could have implications and be a model for other such similar ports located throughout the globe.

kandel-refinery-1The Port of Los Angeles further added, “Project plans call for phasing in the new infrastructure and technology by the end of 2016, with zero and near-zero emission equipment subject to the same rigorous duty cycles of conventional cargo handling equipment. Data collection and analysis to track energy efficiency improvements and cost savings will take place over the subsequent two years.”

For more information related to the project as well as other details, go here.

Lower image: William Grimes

Published by Alan Kandel