Quotidiano indipendente di economia e politica dei trasporti
CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE STUDI CONTAINERS
ANNO XXXVIII - Numero MARZO 2020
TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT
HOW TO MAKE GOING GREEN SUSTAINABLE
"As ports push forward with zero-emission investments
they are beginning to show that being sustainable doesn't have to
come at an economic cost"
One example of this is the Port of Hueneme in California, which
secured financial partners for its US$14m shoreside power system
within two years to enabled refrigerated vessels to plug in.
On the subject of whether ports can be profitable and
sustainable at the same time, port director Kristin Decas, told Port
Strategy: "I think we have a proven track record there. From
2012 we built investment in our shoreside power, which was a $$40m
construction project. At that time, we only had about US$4m in
unrestricted funds in our reserves so we had to build this US$14m
Ms Decas, who joined the port as director in 2012 and has led
its funding efforts, explained the port had to be resourceful in
finding an array of partners to realise its ambition.
Funding for the port, owned and operated by Oxnard Harbor
District, has come from sources including the the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act
(DERA); the California Air Resources Board, which provided a US$4.5m
dollar grant; Ventura County Transportation Commission; the Ventura
Air Quality Control District, which provided US$250,000 for
engineering; plus new markets tax credits, a tax incentive through
green job funding, through the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
"We were able to able to put all that funding together, as
well as tap our reserves and we were able to build it by 2014 and go
live," Ms Decas explained. "Since that time, 2012, we've
also grown our business by 23%, so we've made our largest investment
in environmental infrastructure, while at the same time growing our
Following the Phase I launch of the Shore Power system in April
2014, the second phase was launched in July 2016.
Ship to shore
In October 2018, the port secured a US$3m grant from the
California Air Resources Board (CARB) to spend on its zero-emission
ship to shore project. The project was part of a joint application
with the Port of Los Angeles for the California state Zero and Near
Zero Emission Freight Facilities project (ZANZEFF) grant
solicitation funded through California's Cap and Trade dollars
With the aim of providing zero emission avocados to Ventura
County and the State, the project will enable avocados at the port's
docks to be offloaded with electrical equipment from a vessel that's
plugged in to shoreside power and then moved to distribution with a
hydrogen fuel cell truck
The port confirmed in April 2019 that it had hired an
environmental engineer to help build the infrastructure that will
support the electrical equipment, to include electric cranes and
electric cargo handling equipment. This will be purchased with a
grant in the third quarter of 2020.
Hydrogen fuel cell trucks being developed by Toyota and Kenworth
as part of the ZANZEFF project, will also form part of Hueneme's
ship to shore supply chain.
Comprising the Kenworth T680 Class 8 model combined with
Toyota's fuel cell electric technology, the 10 trucks will move
cargo from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports and the Port of
Hueneme. Testing is currently taking place.
Given that ports in California are obliged to adhere to strict
regulations set out by CARB and carrying out innovative
environmental initiatives, does Ms Decas think that it is helpful
for ports to work together and is there scope for ports to learn
from each other?
"I'm currently president of the California Association of
Port Authorities, which sees all 11 ports working together,
collaborating. We tackle challenges and we capitalise on
opportunities," she said.
She explained that the association has subcommittees, one of
which is environmentally focussed. Conference calls take place once
a month to look at challenges including shoreside power and how the
ports can solve challenges and work with local regulators.
"I think all the ports want to grow and not only this but
to work towards zero emissions but we have to do that in a way that
is realistic. The technology has to exist to green our operations
and we also have the challenge of funding - how are we going to pay
for this? At the end of the day the ports do collectively want to
move towards a zero-emission footprint."
In tacking the issue of cost being a barrier to green
technology, testing and rolling out technology slowly to see the
value of investments and making decisions based on budget seem
"There's an expression in our world, that once you've seen
a port, you've seen a port. Meaning we're all unique and have our
different characteristics, " commented Ms Decas. "There
isn't a one size fits all technology. It makes sense to have
Technologies that are certified by the IMO so that they will work
globally. That's what we did with our shoreside power system, we
made the connections certified by the IMO so that if other ports go
live with shoreside power, our system will work at their port. it's
important to have some uniformity.
"But to get the biggest bang for your buck in reducing
emissions at individual ports you need to look at the technology
advances that are ideal for that particular complex, make sure it is
viable and how you fund it."
Environmental investment has to coordinate with other port
development plans, Ms Decas pointed out. While Hueneme's shoreside
power is being utilised by reefer ships currently, these vessels are
being phased out in favour of a move towards containerisation and
mega ships. This ties in with the port's project to deepen the
harbour from 35-40ft to accommodate the size of these vessels.
"The port has traditionally been a reefer port with and big
breakbulk coming in for the fruit segment of what we do and the
reefer ships are really becoming dinosaurs," stressed Ms Decas.
"They're not building them anymore. What we're seeing is a
trend towards containerisation, bigger and bigger ships that are
moving freight on containers. We need to rethink how we do business
here and containerise our port, at the same time without comprising
other important segments of business.
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