The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a new incentive program aimed at rewarding shipping lines for participating in testing of new air pollution-control technology for vessels.
The incentive will include waiving the parking fee or “dockage” fee, according to a statement from the Port of Long Beach (POLB).
“By waiving the parking or ‘dockage’ fee, the new incentive program is designed to encourage vessel operators to participate in the testing of this barge-mounted system and other similar technology,” the POLB said.
Vessel operations participating in the POLB demonstration of a barge-mounted emissions-capture system for ships at berth will be the first to benefit from the new incentive.
About 40 vessel calls each year will be eligible for the incentive over the next two years.
“This incentive will allow more ships to participate in these important demonstration projects, so we are very happy to offer it. As the Green Port, the Port of Long Beach is committed to being a leader in air pollution reduction and elimination. We’ve made great strides in that area, but we’re far from finished,” said Harbor Commission President Doug Drummond in a statement.
Clean-air technology, like shore power, will be tested thanks to funding provided by the Port’s Technology Advancement Program.
“Currently, the barge-based ‘Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System’ or AMECS is undergoing testing at the Port,” according to the POLB. “The AMECS uses a 115-foot-high tower mounted on a barge to connect to a ship and vacuum up emissions. The gases are sent through filters and scrubbers to remove pollutants. The system is seeking approval from state regulators to qualify as an alternative to shore power for container ships and will also be tested on other types of cargo ships.”
Ships still remain the largest source of port-related air pollution, despite efforts by the Port to improve air quality.
“A top priority for the Port’s Technology Advancement Program is to find and demonstrate technologies to reduce emissions from ships,” the Port said. “The new incentive aims to encourage participation in these types of demonstrations.”