Oakland Attributes Reduction in Diesel Emissions to Shore Power

Friday June 26, 2015

The Port of Oakland announced this week that it has seen dramatic results from its environmental programs, thanks in part to the implementation of shore power for berthed vessels.

Between 2005 and 2012, 151 tonnes of particulate matter were eliminated from vessels, with more having been reduced since, the port said. 

“The city’s port, one of the country’s largest, provides electrical power to arriving ships to end the use of polluting diesel generators while they are loading and unloading,” said environmental watchdog Circle of Blue.

The port said that it is on track to meet targets of an 85 percent overall reduction in diesel emissions by 2020.

Its programs implemented to tackle both vessel and truck emissions have reportedly seen success in reducing both black carbon emissions and nitrogen oxide.

The port's successes comes in contrast to comments made earlier this year by the CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, who said that shore power is a "last-generation solution at most major ports."

At the time, CEO James Newsome said that low-sulfur fuels and technology such as scrubbers were making shore-power obsolete.

However, the port's efforts were praised by a Chinese delegation with the Port of Tianjin, which is currently the fourth largest port in the world. 

“Oakland ranks among the best in the world and we want to learn how you control pollution,” said Wen Wurui, Director General of the Tianjin Environmental Protection Bureau.

China has been considering new regulations and taxes as it begins to seriously tackle air pollution problems in the country. 

Earlier this month, an official in Hong Kong was also reported as saying that a low-sulfur zone intended for the Pearl River Delta has a high chance of success given the focus on environmental efforts in Beijing