Ocean Carriers Presented ‘Green Flags’
Operators and Vessels Honored for Voluntarily Improving Air Quality
March 20, 2006
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday, March 20, awarded “Green Flags” to environmentally friendly fleet operators and individual vessels that voluntarily reduced their speeds in 2005 to curb air pollution.
The Green Flag Incentive Program, approved by the Board last fall, offers special recognition and as much as $2.2 million a year in discounted dockage rates to vessel operators that observe a 12-knot speed limit within 20 miles of the Port. Reduced ship speeds decrease harmful air emissions in the Port region.
Click here to view 2005 compliance charts.
The Harbor Commissioners recognized the Port’s “greenest” vessel operators of 2005 in a special ceremony Monday. Individual ships that achieved 100 percent compliance in 2005 were awarded Green Flags, as were ocean carriers that achieved high rates of compliance with the program. Beginning this year, ocean carriers that achieve a fleet compliance rate of 90 percent or better for all of 2006 will receive reduced dockage rates in 2007, under the incentive program.
“Our carriers are to be congratulated,” said Harbor Commission President Doris Topsy-Elvord. “Many of our carriers have observed the speed limits voluntarily, even without the incentives. So we are presenting 2005 Green Flags to the best of the best carriers for being outstanding corporate citizens and helping to improve air quality.”
In 2005, 907 individual ships called at the Port of Long Beach, completing 5,406 sea voyages in and out of San Pedro Bay. About 65 percent of all vessels complied with the limits of the voluntary speed reduction program, which has been in place since 2001.
On Monday, the Board awarded Green Flags to 333 individual ships and 100 ocean carriers (operating more than one vessel) that had met Green Flag requirements of 100 percent compliance in 2005.
The Board also awarded special environmental recognition to six of the Port’s largest carriers for operating a fleet that 1) included at least two of these “Green Flag” ships, 2) sailed 50 or more sea passages in and out of Long Beach, and 3) exceeded a fleet compliance rate of 90 percent: Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), “K” Line, USS Vessel Management, BP Shipping, SeaRiver Maritime and Hyundai Merchant Marine.
In addition, the Board recognized seven other large carriers for operating a fleet that 1) included at least two Green Flag ships, 2) sailed 50 or more voyages here, and 3) exceeded the average compliance rate in 2005: China Ocean Shipping Co. (COSCO), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), China Shipping Container Line, Mitsui OSK Lines, Matson Navigation, Hanjin Shipping and Alaska Tanker.
Port officials estimate that if all vessels comply with the program, the amount of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced by cargo ships would be reduced by nearly 550 tons a year.
( Click here to view the press release )