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Port of Oakland – $5 Million Closer to Clean Shore Power

Press Releases, Seaport
February 3rd, 2011

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
February 3, 2011

Port of Oakland - $5 Million Closer to Clean Shore Power

Air District approves $5 million for Port’s shore power project

Oakland, CA – Feb. 3, 2011 – The Port of Oakland moves closer to clean shore power with Wednesday’s Feb. 2nd approval from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD; Air District) of $5 million from the Mobile Source Incentive Fund (MSIF) for the Port of Oakland’s shore power project. Shore power provides grid-based electric power from land to vessels, allowing those vessels to turn off their diesel-fueled auxiliary engines when they are at dock. Shore power saves on fuel and eliminates what would otherwise be diesel emissions associated with health risks. Shore power is a key element of the State’s Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program, the Port of Oakland’s Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan adopted in 2009, and one of the principal methods of compliance with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) regulation for “vessels at berth”. The $5 million from the MSIF will contribute to the construction of shore power infrastructure at the first three berths in the Port’s shore power project.

“In March 2008, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners set the goal of reducing the health risk from seaport sources of diesel emissions by 85% by 2020,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin. “We want to thank the Air District for helping us get closer to reaching that goal with this funding.” Benjamin added, “Shore power is critical to both cleaning up the air and maintaining revenues at the Port so we can continue delivering economic benefits to the region and State.” In December 2007 the California Air Resources Board approved a regulation to reduce emissions from diesel auxiliary engines on container, passenger, and refrigerated-cargo ships while berthing at a California Port. Fifty percent of a fleet's visits to a port must be shore power visits by 2014. Eighty percent of a fleet’s visits must be shore power visits by 2020. Fleet operators visiting California ports will be required to turn off auxiliary engines and connect to clean shore power (most likely an electrical grid) or use alternative control technique(s) that achieve equivalent emission reductions.

“Shore power is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions from vessels at the Port of Oakland,” said BAAQMD Executive Officer Jack Broadbent, “These projects will significantly reduce pollution and improve air quality.” According to the Air District, installation of shoreside power at three berths at the Port of Oakland will reduce an estimated 33 tons of pollutants and particulate matter annually.

The Port and its tenants will need significant funds to help finance shore power infrastructure and ensure delivery of this important initiative. Historically the Port’s principal funding sources for maritime environmental improvement activities have been operational revenues and bond funding secured by such revenues. Because these revenue sources are insufficient to meet the needs of the new shore power project, the Port is pursuing and leveraging new funding and financing mechanisms, including grant funding such as the MSIF. So far approximately $40 million has been identified in grant funding, of which approximately $13 million has been secured by the Port, including the $5 million just approved by the Air District. “We estimate that it will cost $90 million for planning and building the land-side infrastructure needed to supply shore power at the Port of Oakland,” said the Port’s Senior Maritime Projects Administrator Delphine Prévost. The total combined cost of the Port’s project and the private sector shore power improvements at the Port is estimated to be more than $100 million. Prévost added, “This $5 million grant is a big help to getting the project started, though much more funding is needed to complete the project Port-wide. Additionally, the maritime industry is reportedly investing approximately $1 billion in private funds to retrofit their vessels to plug into the power grid when docked at California ports.”

About the Port of Oakland: The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport offers 130 daily flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Please visit: www.portofoakland.com.

Air District
Air Resources Board
Port’s Maritime Air Quality Improvement Program

Media Contacts:

Marilyn Sandifur
Port of Oakland Spokesperson
(510) 627-1193
msandifur@portoakland.com