THE California Air Resources Board (CARB) has come up with proposals to expand the type and number of ships that
must use shore power or an alternate method to reduce air pollution
while at berth.
The board recently held a hearing on the
Proposed Control Measure for Ocean-Going Vessels at Berth and is
considering written comments before holding a second hearing,
tentatively planned for the spring.
Current rules require most container ships, conventional refrigerated
ships and cruise ships to use shore power when docked in ports rather
than run their auxiliary engines to create electricity for purposes such
as lighting, air conditioning or operation of shipboard equipment,
reports American Shipper.
This is sometimes called alternative marine power (AMP), shore-to-ship
power or "cold ironing". Alternatively, instead of "plugging into" the
shoreside grid, ships can continue to use their auxiliary engines and
use a system to "capture and control" engine exhaust.
The existing regulations are in place at six ports: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and.
The proposed regulation will make smaller container, reefer and cruise
ships (about 10 per cent of these types of ships calling California
today) subject to the shore power regulation. Those requirements would
phase in from the beginning of 2023. It's also proposed that roll-on,
roll-off ships (ro-ros) be included for the first time, starting in
Tankers are also proposed to be phased in at the beginning of 2027 at
Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals, and elsewhere in 2029. In addition
to the ships' auxiliary engines, the regulations would require large
tanker vessels that carry crude oil to reduce emissions from boilers
used to drive steam-driven pumps so that cargo can be offloaded.
The proposals will cover ports and terminals, including refinery docks,
in Northern California in cities such as Stockton, Richmond, Rodeo,
Benicia and Martinez.
The chair of CARB, Mary Nichols said: "Further emissions reductions from
oceangoing vessels at berth are needed to provide public health
benefits to the port communities that are already heavily burdened by
air pollution from port-related freight sources, as well as to
contribute to our ozone and greenhouse gas reduction goals."
Director of clean air advocacy at the American Lung Association Will
Barrett said twenty health organisations are supporting the CARB
proposal "because we view pollution from the ships to be such an
unacceptable health risk in our local communities."
As an alternative to plugging into the shore-based electrical grid,
ships can reduce pollution by using a CARB-approved capture-and-control
system that removes pollutants such as particulate matter, and oxides of
sulfur and nitrogen. Three of these are in use currently: two mounted
on barges used in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and one
wheeled unit used at Pasha's terminal in Los Angeles.
CARB estimates the regulation would have a total net cost of US$2.16
billion between 2021 and 2032, and that it would result in avoided
adverse health outcomes costs of $2.25 billion.
It estimated the unit cost of the regulation would amount to $1.11 per
TEU for container or reefer vessels, $4.56 per cruise passenger, $7.49
per automobile moved on a ro-ro ship, and less than a penny on a gallon
of finished product for products moved by tanker.