President & CEO
PE, FIEEE, FACEC
The Power Game
Ports & Harbors (Official Journal of the International Association of Ports and Harbors), May 2006
California has a reputation for tackling environmental issues and one of the targets of the latest round of initatives is pollution from ports. Dockside equipment is being changed over to more ecologically-friendly fuel, but the real target in the eye of authorities is emissions from ships.
The most obvious drawback is cost. The California Air Resources Board estimates it would cost ports in the state at least $90M to supply alternative maritime power (AMP). In addition, retrofiting vessels is expected to cost in the region of $500,000 to $1.SM. On the plus side, the board says that emissions could be reduced by 18 tonnes a day, or 70%, if every vessel calling three or more times a year to California's ports was able to receive shoreside power. Long Beach and Los Angles have long-term plans to supply power to vessels making frequent calls and are putting serious efforts into persuading other ports on these vessels'itineraries to do the same.
Current rules and standards need to be revised and new ones developed to ensure systems are compatible at ports around the world. Naval architects, shipowners, and port authorities should be involved in the development of these standards to ensure safe, cost-effective methods are developed for powering ships on shore power.