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Cold ironing | APL to Cold Iron Oakland Terminal, Vessels

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council
    Members and Friends, Improving air quality at our ports is right up there with security and other concerns. We have been tracking its progress. Trucks are
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2009
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      Members and Friends,
      Improving air quality at our ports is right up there with security and other concerns. We have been tracking its progress. Trucks are undergoing major upgrades. Railroads and short sea shipping also are elements to to improve air quality at our ports.
      This article as well as the recent announcement by APL at the Port of Oakland bring it into focus. There is also a web citation for activities at the Port of Los Angeles. Much more can be found on the web.
      The costs for cleaner air are essentially paid for by consumers and taxpayers who ultimately fund the government portion of the improvements. I don't like to see our California ports loose their completive edge to Canadian and Mexican ports but clean air is important. Shoreside power is produced somewhere and it too must be clean.
      Below explains, in part, what is going on.

      Cold Ironing

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Cold Ironing[1]

      (or AMP - Alternative Maritime Power) is the process of providing shore-side electrical power to a ship at berth while its main and auxiliary engines are turned off. Cold ironing permits emergency equipment, refrigeration, cooling, heating, lighting, and other equipment to receive continuous electrical power while the ship loads or unloads its cargo.

      Cold ironing is a shipping industry term that first came into use when all ships had coal fired iron clad engines. When a ship would tie up at port there was no need to continue to feed the fire and the iron engines would literally cool down eventually going completely cold, hence the term "cold ironing".

      Modern Day

      A ship can cold iron by simply connecting to another ship's power supply; a process the US Navy and other navies have practiced for many years, or from a shore-side power source. Recently cold ironing has been looked to as a means to mitigate air pollution by significantly reducing, and in some cases, completely eliminating harmful emissions from diesel engines.

      Unlike national navy vessels, commercial ships do not sustain long port stays and stay on power generated internally through diesel powered generators (auxiliary engines). As ships traditionally were not subject to emissions control, since the days of diesel powered ships, research was largely focused on using cheaper forms of fuel to run their engines.

      As a result, internationally, ships have been using Heavy Furnace Oil – residual petroleum – as the optimal choice of fuel. This fuel, the reverse of gas oils (which are derived through distillation of crude oil), is high on particulate matter and studies show that one ship can pollute as much as 50 million cars annually. The fuel used by ships is called bunker fuel.

      Further research [2] indicates 60,000 of cardio-pulmonary mortalities due to Particulate Matter from ship emissions. These deaths have been detected far inland due to prevailing wind conditions from seaward. Total world trading fleet stands at 50,000+ merchant ships (Lloyds data as of Jan-2008). Each ship spends approximately 100 days in port in a year.

      For every kilowatt-hour (kW h) electricity, about 200 grams of bunker fuel is consumed. Each 1 kilo of bunker oil =3.125 kilos of Carbon dioxide. It is assessed that globally ships use 411,223,484 tonnes of fuel annually.

      Keeping these reports in mind, new regulatory norms have been mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The level of Sulfur is one of the benchmarks in measuring quality of fuel and Marpol Annex VI requires use of <4.5% sulfur fuel effective 2010. The target is to reduce world maritime sulfur output to <0.5% by 2020. Some regions (eg. California) already require ships switch to cleaner fuel in when in their local waters.

      Cold ironing does away with the need of burning fossil fuel all together on board ships. In this concept, ships visiting ports are hooked on to local grid power – or other sources – power sources which are already regulated by local pollution norms. This shore sourced power serves the ship’s cargo handling machinery and hotelling requirements. Effectively, all generating sources are shut down and ship is hence cold-ironed.

      This brings immediate relief from pollution by shipboard emissions and allows a more holistic maintenance schedule to be followed by ship operators – they are typically hard-put to maintain planned maintenance schedules due to commercial operating pressures.

      Concerns & Problems

      Compatibility of electricity parameters- ships having been built in diverse international yards, have no uniform voltage and frequency requirement. Some ships use 220 volts at 50 Hz, some at 60 Hz, some others use 110 volts. Primary distribution voltage can vary from 440 volts to 11 Kvolts.

      Load requirement varies from ship to ship – ranges from a few hundred kW in case of car carriers to a dozen or more MW in case of passenger ships or reefer ships.

      Connectors and cables are not internationally standardized, though work has progressed in this direction. There are other legal implications to outsourcing primary power source (see article). [1]

      All these problems are addressable and work has already begun in reducing ship emissions by cold ironing.

      Monday, December 21, 2009

      APL to Cold Iron Oakland Terminal, Vessels

      Shipping and logistics firm APL is teaming up with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on an $11 million project to cut ocean-going vessel emissions near the Port of Oakland.

      Nearly $5 million of the project will come from air quality grants and will go toward retrofitting the APL terminal at the Oakland port and the carrier's vessels that call there, to use dockside electric power.

      Ocean-going vessels generate a large percentage of their pollution per visit while sitting idling at the dock and running generators to provide maintenance power. Dockside power, sometimes called ship-to-shore power or cold ironing, allows the vessels to plug into the shoreside power grid and shut down the on-ship generators, dramatically reducing in-port emissions.

      Cold ironing their terminal and vessels at Oakland will, according to APL, cut more than 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions– a leading component of smog– from ships berthed in Oakland and 1,500 pounds of particulate matter– often seen as smokestack soot– annually.

      When completed late next year, the cold-ironing portion of the program will see APL become the first terminal and carrier at the Oakland port to cold iron.
      The state of California is planning to make cold ironing of ocean-going vessels mandatory by 2014.

      “Diesel emissions from port operations have a serious health impact in the West Oakland community,” said Jack Broadbent, Executive Officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “APL is getting a head start to reduce emissions well before the state deadline.”

      While APL will pick up the majority of the $11 million price tag, $2.8 million in grant money from the state Goods Movement Bond Program will be used to electrify berths at Global Gateway Central, the recently expanded and upgraded APL terminal at the Port of Oakland. An additional $2 million grant from the state Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program will be used to retrofit the first three APL container ships for cold ironing.
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