Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has signed a multi-year agreement with the Port of Los Angeles which includes commitments to several environmental programs, including the use of alternative maritime power (AMP), which becomes available in 2008, on its Norwegian Star ship, which is homeported at the Port of Los Angeles.
Environmental program commitments in the agreement include: compliance with the Port’s Vessel Speed Reduction Program which eliminates air emissions by slowing the ship significantly when it comes within 40 nautical miles of the Port; using low sulfur fuel (less than 0.5% sulfur—5,000 ppm) while navigating in and around the Port of Los Angeles; and AMP, also known as cold-ironing, which allows the ship to turn off its diesel-burning engines while at dock and plug into clean, shoreside electrical power.
The only way we are going to lower port-related air pollution is to continue to push the envelope in reaching new agreements with our partner tenants.—Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., Port executive director
In November 2006, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach approved a joint action to improve air quality in the South Coast Air Basin called the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). (Earlier post.) The five-year plan is a blueprint for the ports to significantly reduce the health risks posed by air pollution from port-related ships, trains, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft. Considered a “living document,” the plan allows for updating as new technologies and processes become available. As part of the CAAP, the ports will be utilizing electrical shore power whenever possible, as demonstrated by this latest agreement with NCL.
The Port of Los Angeles is the first and only port in the world currently using AMP technology on container ships. The move to use AMP technology on cruise ships has been under negotiation for some time. Princess Cruise Line has also signed an agreement to utilize AMP technology for its cruise ships at the Port of Los Angeles.
Princess was an early adopter with AMP, beginning its program in Juneau in the summer of 2001. The program expanded to Seattle in summer 2005, and the technology is now featured on 10 ships which are equipped to use local hydroelectric power. All Princess ships currently sailing from the Port of Los Angeles are fully equipped and ready to plug into shore power when it debuts there.