Using electrical power for ships at berth rather than diesel-burning engines, a practice called shore power or “cold ironing,” greatly reduces air pollution from ships. When ships use shore power, they tap landside electricity for their power needs at berth – lights, pumps, communications, refrigeration – instead of running diesel-fueled auxiliary on-board engines. Shore power cuts air pollution from ships at berth by 95 percent. Read the Shore Power fact sheet.
Shore Power Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.
The Port has completed more than $185 million worth of dockside power hookups and other infrastructure to facilitate shore power. On Jan. 1, 2014, California mandated that at least half of all container ships run on shore-side electricity at berth. Carriers are subject to an additional requirement: Each fleet must reduce its total emissions by 50 percent.
Higher compliance rates are being phased in over six years. The rule affects fleets calling at the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco and Hueneme and applies to all operators.
For more information on the state mandate, visit the California Air Resources Board shore power page.
Ahead of the curve
Between its own strategies and the willingness of industry partners to green their operations, the Port of Long Beach has had a jump on implementing shore power. Even before the California Air Resources Board adopted its final rule in 2008, International Transportation Service and K Line teamed with the Port and successfully plugged in at Pier G. In 2009, tankers began plugging into shore power at berth at Pier T. The terminal formerly operated by BP and now by Tesoro made history as the first and only place in the world where oil tankers can run on electricity at berth.
In 2011, SSA Terminals and Matson followed suit at the Pier C container terminal. Along the way, the Port’s own Senior Electrical Engineer Ben Chavdarian emerged as a global expert for his role in helping to develop the international standard for high-voltage shore connection systems that was finalized in 2012.
Outreach to tenants and shipping lines was as intensive as readying the infrastructure. Staff from the Port’s engineering, construction, environmental, trade and communications divisions have worked closely with CARB officials to ensure terminal operators and shipping lines have as much information as possible to comply with the pending regulation.