APL Plans to Cold-iron Vessels at Port of Oakland in 2010

Global shipping leader APL and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District recently announced an $11 million project to cut vessel emissions and improve the city's air quality starting in 2010.

Armed with $4.8 million in air quality grants from the district, the world's fifth-largest container carrier said it will retrofit its terminal and vessels to begin cold-ironing next December at the Port of Oakland in California. Cold-ironing is industry jargon for turning off a ship's 2,000 horse power diesel generators at berth and connecting instead to electrical sources ashore. This enables vessels to maintain power in port while eliminating exhaust emissions.

Cold-ironing will cut more than 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions from ships berthed in Oakland and 1,500 pounds of particulate matter annually. APL will be the first and only carrier or terminal operator at the port to cold-iron vessels.

"Our job is to move the world's trade," said APL Americas Region President John Bowe in making the announcement. "Thanks to our partnership with the Air Quality District, we're proving that we can do it in a way that's sensitive to our neighbors in the community."

Starting this month, APL will begin outfitting five vessels that call regularly in Oakland for cold-ironing. Late next summer, APL will launch a four-month construction project to electrify berths at its Global Gateway Central marine terminal in Oakland. When that work is completed, cold-ironing will begin.

Regulations mandating cold-ironing in California take effect in 2014.

"Diesel emissions from port operations have a serious health impact in the West Oakland community," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. "APL is getting a head start to reduce emissions well before the state deadline."

The Air District is funding the grants through the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program and the Goods Movement Bond Program.

The vessels APL will retrofit make a total of 52 calls to Oakland annually. The company employs up to 250 people a day at its Oakland marine terminal.

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