Port of Oakland reports more ships than ever plugging into grid

Oakland, Calif. – Jan. 22, 2019: More ships than ever are switching to landside electricity at the Port of Oakland to curb emissions.  The Port said today that 75 percent of all ships visiting here in 2018 used so-called shore power.  That was up from 68 percent the year before.

The Port said 1,543 ships tied up in Oakland last year.  Of those, 1,157 plugged into the landside grid to power onboard systems.  The upshot: vessels could turn off auxiliary diesel engines, eliminating tons of diesel exhaust.

Shore power use reached an all-time high of 82 percent last month, the Port said.  The Port is working with ocean carriers to increase plug-ins even more.   The state of California mandates that shipping lines employ shore power at its six largest ports, including Oakland.  Not all carriers have achieved the required level of usage yet.

“Shore power is the most effective way we know to reduce vessel emissions,” said Port of Oakland Environmental Planner Catherine Mukai.  “We’re pleased because the trends are positive.”

Vessels connect to the grid at Oakland’s marine terminals via large cables.  Landside workers fasten the cables to electrical vaults on the docks.  Ships require electrical power at berth to run everything from lights to refrigerated cargo containers.

About the Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. The Port’s 5-year strategic plan – Growth with Care – pairs business expansion with community benefits, envisioning more jobs and economic stimulus as the Port grows. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts

Mike Zampa
Port of Oakland
Communications Director
(510) 627-1565
[email protected]

Marilyn Sandifur
Port of Oakland
Port Spokesperson
(510) 627-1193
[email protected]


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