The APL Singapore flipped a switch on Friday at the Port of Oakland that made it the first ship there to “cold-iron” and use shore-side electric power, extending a major maritime environmental effort to the port.
The technology, in sporadic use in Los Angeles and Long Beach, is part of a growing move by ocean carriers that soon will become mandatory on California’s coast.
“We have brought cold-ironing to the port,” said APL Americas President Gene Seroka. “When others do as well, we can further reduce vessel emissions and re-enforce that global trade growth is sustainable.”
The Port of Oakland received a $5 million grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District earlier this year for a shore-side electric power project that will allow vessels at berth to operate on clean electrical power. The state of California has mandated cold-ironing for container ships by 2014. At that time, half of a carrier’s fleet must rely on shore power when berthed in California ports.
The 900-foot APL Singapore switched off its auxiliary diesel engines Friday morning after berthing at APL’s Global Gateway Central terminal. It was the official launch of an APL program to cold-iron five vessels this year on the trans-Pacific trade.
Under cold-ironing, ships at berth connect via large cables to the landside power grid for electricity. The vessels shut down auxiliary engines that have historically been used to power shipboard electrical systems.
With engines switched off, some 1,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides emissions, a leading component of smog, 165 pounds of sulfur oxides, and 30 pounds of particulate matter are eliminated during a 24-hour port call.
APL expects cold-ironing to eradicate 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions from its ships annually in Oakland. Emissions of particulate matter should drop by 1,500 pounds a year.
APL spent $11 million to retrofit the five container vessels and re-wire its terminal for cold-ironing. It was awarded $4.8 million in California Air Resources Board grants by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to complete the project.