APL has moved a step closer to an environmental breakthrough. The world's fourth-largest container carrier said today it has completed the retrofit of five vessels for cold-ironing. Cold-ironing is industry jargon for turning off a ship's diesel generators at berth and connecting instead to cleaner shore-side power.
The clean-air technique will be introduced next winter at APL's marine terminal in Oakland, California. APL will become the first and only carrier or terminal operator at the Port of Oakland to cold-iron ships.
By shutting down shipboard generators in Oakland, APL expects to eliminate 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions annually. Nitrogen oxide is a leading component of smog. The carrier also expects to eliminate1,500 pounds of particulate matter emissions a year.
"We are committed to reducing the impact of global trade on the environment," said APL Americas President Gene Seroka. "Equipping our vessels for cold-ironing is tangible evidence that we are advancing on the goal."
APL has been equipping its C-11 class vessels with cold-ironing capabilities throughout 2010. The last of the five ships returned to service this month from the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore.
The ships are scheduled to plug in at port beginning early in 2011. That's when APL expects to complete a construction project to electrify its Oakland vessel berths for cold-ironing.
APL has been awarded two grants, totaling $4.8 million, for the cold-ironing project. Part of that funding helped finance the month-long retrofit of each ship.
Every one of the five vessels has been equipped with:
* A transformer that steps down 6,600-volt shoreside power to the 480-volt power used aboard ships;
* Room-size enclosures that house the receptacles where shore-power cables are connected to the vessels; and
* 8,000 meters of cabling that run from the receptacles through the transformer and into the vessel's electrical control panel.
Cold-ironing is one of the most recent measures announced by APL to curb vessel air emissions. Others include slow steaming, the use of low-sulfur fuel at port and an extensive test of emulsified fuel.
In June, APL was named the Sustainable Shipping Operator of 2010 by Sustainableshipping.com.