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May 31, 2011 > Additional funding for Port electrification

Additional funding for Port electrification

Submitted By Kristine Roselius

As its landmark oceangoing vessel electrification project with global shipping company APL entered service on May 27, 2011, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District along with its partners, the California Air Resources Board and the Port of Oakland announced an additional $25M in funding for "cold ironing" projects at the Port of Oakland.

"Cold-ironing" is an industry term that refers to turning off a ship's 2,000 horsepower diesel generators while at berth and connecting instead to cleaner electrical power ashore. This enables container ships to maintain power in port while eliminating exhaust emissions.

"Diesel emissions from port operations have a serious health impact in the West Oakland community," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "APL is leading the way to reduce those emissions and the Air District and other partners are providing the funding so that others can follow suit."

The $25M funding, along with match funding from the federal government and Port of Oakland, will provide electrification of 11 additional berths at the port. This effort builds on $4.8M in Air District grants provided to APL, the world's fifth-largest container carrier, to retrofit its terminal and ships to begin "cold-ironing," becoming the first to plug-in at the Port of Oakland.

Diesel generators are typically used 24/7 while in port. Using shore-side electric power for this project, instead of diesel generators, will immediately cut more than 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions and 1,500 pounds of toxic soot annually from APL ships berthed at the Port of Oakland. Upon completion of the 11 additional cold ironing projects, more than 600,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions and 10,000 pounds of toxic soot will be reduced each year.

Shore-side power or "cold-ironing" is considered one of the most effective ways to curb emissions from vessels at port and improve coastal air quality. Regulations mandating cold-ironing in California take effect in 2014.

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