(May 3, 2006) -- In an action headlined on the Port of LB's website accompanied by a media release stating that the move "over the next decade will reduce air pollutants by 90 percent at a major container cargo terminal," the Port of LB has tentatively agreed to what it calls a "landmark lease" that for the first time includes PoLB "Green Port" environmental upgrades (details below) including the phased-in use of shore-side electrical power ("cold ironing") at SSA Terminals (a joint venture of SSA Marine & Matson Navigation Co.)
PoLB's release says the use of shore-side electricity [reducing idling from polluting ships' engines] and other environmentally friendly technologies "will significantly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and diesel-related particulate matter from ships at
berth and from cargo-handling equipment used at the terminal."
The amendment to a 20-year lease (signed in 2002 between PoLB and SSAT for the 68-acre Pier C facility) calls for PoLB to invest "millions of dollars to build dockside electrical infrastructure for cold-ironing to improve air quality and Matson and SSA will make significant investments to upgrade ships and cargo-handling equipment."
The PoLB release continues:
Matson agreed to retrofit five vessels in its current fleet to use shore-side electricity or
technology that is at least 90 percent as clean as cold ironing. A class of older vessel will
be retrofitted with technology that is at least 80 percent as clean as cold ironing. The
company also has agreed to gradually eliminate the use of older steamships that are
unable to accommodate the most current anti-pollution technology. SSAT will accelerate
the replacement of its terminal cargo-handling fleet with cleaner-burning tractors and
other equipment several years before the new technology will be required by law.
"This agreement is a major step forward for environmental improvement at the Port of
Long Beach," said Port Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. "It demonstrates a
serious commitment on the part of the Port and our customers to work together toward
With this accord, the Board of Harbor Commissioners is pioneering the use of leases to
improve the environment. The board is not an environmental regulator with authority to
clean up the ships, trucks, trains and yard equipment at the Port. The board governs the
Port with its land-use authority and its power to approve terminal leases.
If the Harbor Commission votes for final approval, the SSAT lease agreement would be
the first at a major port in which a cargo terminal operator voluntarily agreed to coldironing
provisions and other environment improvements without the mandates of
litigation, regulation or a government-required environmental review.
The Port of Long Beachís Green Port Policy, approved in January 2005 by the Harbor
Commission, includes guidelines that direct the Port to develop terminal lease
requirements promoting environmental sustainability.
Matson is the leading shipping line serving Hawaii, primarily with goods shipped from
Long Beach. Recently the company launched a shipping service to China, greatly
increasing inbound shipments -- a shift that prompted the new lease amendment.
"This is a great example of our Green Port Policy in action," said Harbor Commission
President Doris Topsy-Elvord. "I think our customers will see that we will meet their
business needs, but at the same time they need to help us minimize our environmental
impact. Environmentally friendly lease agreements such as this one represent the future
of the Port of Long Beach."
"Matson is proud to be part of this Green Port initiative, as it is consistent with our overall
environmental objectives," said Ron Forest, senior vice president, operations. "Matson
has had a zero discharge policy and other air quality programs. These initiatives will
ensure Matsonís fleet will be environmentally proactive at all of our port facilities."
"The Green Port Policy is huge challenge for us, both in cost and in proving the viability
of cleaner cargo-handling technology," said Jon Hemingway, president of Seattle-based
SSA Marine. "At SSA Marine, we pride ourselves on being world leaders in all facets of
terminal management and stevedoring including air quality. With this agreement we
continue our efforts toward better environmental stewardship and working closely with
the communities where we live."
The SSAT cold ironing project will not be the first in Long Beach. Two years ago, without
the framework of a lease, the Port agreed to develop shore-side electrical infrastructure
at an oil terminal where BP volunteered to cold iron at least two of the companyís oil
The Harbor Commission on Monday, May 1, voted preliminary approval for the
conditional award of a $7.3 million contract with Manson Construction Co. of San Pedro
for the waterside electrical infrastructure. The work is scheduled for completion in spring
2007. A second contract will be awarded this fall for onshore electrical facilities, with
completion expected in summer 2007.