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First US LNG Terminal Tractors to Operate at Port of Los Angeles

Kalmar LNG yard tractor

Yusen Terminals Inc. (YTI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based NYK Line, is putting LNG-fueled yard tractors into service at its terminal in the Port of Los Angeles, becoming the first US marine terminal operator to use the fuel for vehicles.

Built by Kalmar Industries and powered by the 250-hp Cummins Westport C Gas Plus dedicated natural gas engine, the LNG tractors are projected to cut NOx emissions by 65% and PM emissions by 80% compared to a conventional off-road diesel unit.

The announcement is timely, given the recent publication of the California Air Resources Board’s report on the port’s hefty contribution of PM emissions to the South Coast Air Basin (earlier post).

Yard tractors, with their operations confined to moving trailers and containers about the port, are technically “off-road” vehicles—although they may look like an on-road truck, they do not operate under the same emissions requirements. (There are proposals in the works that would tighten the regulations on such cargo handling equipment.)

These LNG tractors will be operated at YTI’s 185-acre facility located on the northern section of Terminal Island in the Port of Los Angeles.

Kalmar is a global supplier of heavy-duty material handling equipment and services in the container, trailer and heavy industrial sectors, and now becomes the world’s first provider of the lowest-emission marine terminal tractor technology available in the United States.

The company has already filled other orders for the LNG unit and expect more to come in subsequent months.

Partnering with YTI on this project since June 2003 has been SES Terminal LLC (SES) and Applied LNG Technologies (ALT). SES, a joint venture company between the Mitsubishi Corporation and ConocoPhillips, plans to construct an LNG receiving terminal in the Port of Long Beach. ALT is the nation’s largest LNG supplier.

SES is supplying fuel from other sources to YTI until SES’ proposed terminal opens in 2009. Pending federal and state approvals, SES’ $450 million project is the only LNG import terminal in the world designed to also provide vehicle-grade LNG fuel to the transportation market.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has contributed to the funding of this project through its Carl Moyer Air Quality Standards Attainment program. In addition to the Carl Moyer grant, the Port of Los Angeles, through its Air Quality Mitigation Fund, has approved funding towards the purchase of additional LNG tractors and towards installation of an LNG fuel station.


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