Oakland Port Completes Shore Power Infrastructure

by | Nov 12, 2013

Port of Oakland Shore PowerThe Port of Oakland has completed its shore power infrastructure, which provides electrical power to ships, thereby reducing diesel and other air pollutant emissions from ships while they are at berth.

In 2008 the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners pledged to reduce seaport-related diesel emissions by 85 percent by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.

According to the port’s 2012 emissions inventory, it has reduced maritime-related diesel particulate emissions by 70 percent, says port board second vice president Earl S. Hamlin. The shore power project should cut an additional 11 tons of diesel particulate matter out of the air, Hamlin says.

Shore power at the Port of Oakland is a two-phase, multi-year program covering 11 berths. The port has completed phases 1 and 2 — construction of its new electrical infrastructure system. Final testing of the new system is scheduled to be finished next month.

The port’s estimated project cost is about $60 million; the port and private sector’s combined estimated cost for just the shoreside infrastructure is about $70 million. The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) contributed $12.8 million to the shore power project.

Up to an additional $20 million was awarded to the port by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)/Federal Highway Administration.

In 2008, the California Air Resources Board adopted a regulation to require reductions of air pollutants from ocean-going vessels. This regulation, commonly called the “shore power regulation” requires that all operators of container, passenger and refrigerated cargo vessels that visit California ports more than 25 times a year employ an emission reduction system for their fleet by Jan. 1, 2014.

Air pollution associated with operations at the Port of Los Angeles is at its lowest level since the port adopted a formal plan to reduce emissions nearly seven years ago, according to the latest emissions data published in August. The Port’s 2012 Inventory of Air Emissions shows a 79 percent drop in diesel particulate matter (DPM) over a seven-year period that began in 2005.

The Port of Long Beach has cut DPM emissions by 81 percent and sulfur oxides 88 percent since 2005, according to its 2012 Emissions Inventory report, also released in August.

All 13 international cargo terminals at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach will power docked ships with electricity by the end of 2013, cutting air pollution from the ships at berth by 95 percent, the Port of Long Beach announced earlier this year.

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