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Port of Oakland completes shore power infrastructure

The Port of Oakland, California, has completed construction of its shore power (also known as “cold-ironing” infrastructure. Shore Power is a shore-to-ship connection that provides electrical power to the ship, thereby significantly reducing diesel and other air pollutant emissions from ships while they are at berth.

In 2008 the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners committed to reducing health-risk from seaport-related diesel emissions by 85% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.

We just completed an inventory of 2012 emissions to check on our progress, and we have already reduced maritime-related diesel particulate emissions by 70%. Today we mark another step in our on-going commitment to clean air and healthy communities. With our shore power project we expect to knock another 11 tons of diesel particulate matter out of the air. We thank all of our partners for helping us reach today’s milestone.

—Port Board Second Vice President Earl S. Hamlin

Shore power at the Port of Oakland is a two-phase, multi-year program covering eleven berths. The Port has completed construction of its new electrical infrastructure system (Phases 1 & 2). Final testing of the new system is scheduled to be finished next month. The Port’s estimated project cost is approximately $60 million; the Port and private sector combined estimated cost for just the shoreside infrastructure is approximately $70 million.

The Port of Oakland took on the cost and burden of installing a shore power system to assist its tenants and customers with the financial and operational challenge of complying with California’s new regulation and to reduce air pollutant emissions that affect nearby Oakland residents from berthed vessels.

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) contributed $12.8 million to the Port’s shore power project.

Shipping lines that own and operate the vessels bear major additional costs associated with retrofitting the ocean-going vessels so that they can plug into shore power at berth.

The need for shore power comes from the response to growing public demand in California and internationally to reduce air pollutants caused by diesel-fueled engines, including ocean-going vessels at-berth. In 2008, the California Air Resources Board adopted a regulation to require reductions of air pollutants from ocean-going vessels. This regulation, commonly referred to as 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 1 Jan. 2014.


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