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Cranes to Get $5 million Environmental Upgrade

Converting diesel cranes to electricity will improve air quality

January 29, 2008

A $5-million grant program to help fund environmentally friendly cargo cranes and improve air quality at the Port of Long Beach has been approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

While all of the Port's tall, ship-to-shore cranes are already electrically powered, the grant program would apply to a second type, "rubber-tired gantry" cranes or RTGs, that are used to move containers within shipping terminals. The Port's goal is to help terminals convert all of their RTG cranes from diesel power to electrical power. About 85 RTG cranes operate at the Port's seven container terminals.

"If all RTG cranes in the Port of Long Beach are converted to electricity, it will reduce air pollution by about 350 tons a year," said Richard D. Cameron, Director of Environmental Planning. "We are hoping that by providing these grants, terminals will be encouraged to make this investment. This is a cost-effective option that will have a significant air quality benefit." 

This action goes beyond the Port's commitment in the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, which calls for conversion of RTG cranes to use cleaner diesel-powered engines by 2014.  The Port's grant program aims to achieve even greater air quality improvements much quicker.

The Port will accept grant applications through the end of March from its shipping terminals, which will be required to provide matching funds. Grants will be awarded competitively, based on cost effectiveness, technical approach and proposed schedule. The maximum individual award is anticipated to be $1 million.

In recent years the Port and its tenants have reduced emissions from cargo-handling terminal equipment by nearly 500 tons of pollution a year through the use of retrofit devices, more efficient engines and cleaner fuels. Through implementation of the Clean Air Action Plan, and other air programs such as this grant program, the Port plans to reduce emissions from all port-related sources by at least 45 percent in five years.

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