In an example of genuine progress on making the ports industry more environmentally sustainable, the Port of Long Beach – one of the busiest ports in the US – has reported a significant improvement in air quality at the port. According to a report published on June 14, pollution levels at the port fell in 2009 – the third consecutive year of reductions. Levels of several pollutants dropped by as much as fifty percent.
Under the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), the Port has introduced a range of measures designed to reduce environmental impact. These include its Clean Trucks Program, the Green Flag vessel speed reduction initiative and the adoption of shore to ship power.
Cavotec is involved in one element of these programmes at Long Beach, and indeed at the nearby Port of Los Angeles (see image above): providing shore to ship power systems or Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) that allow moored vessels to switch off their engines and connect to the local electricity grid. Ships require power while docked to run substantial on board services from lighting, telecoms and food preparation, to mooring and cargo handling.
While making ports more sustainable is a continual process, it is encouraging to see what is possible with the application of technologies and practices designed to reduce environmental impact.