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Friday, September 29, 2000

Princess to use shore power in Juneau
Princess Cruises will turn off the engines of its ships when they dock in Juneau next summer and use surplus hydroelectric power supplied by Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P).

The new program requires a multimillion-dollar investment,. It involves new technology and equipment which is being developed in conjunction with an international electrical engineering firm and AEL&P.

"I think this announcement clearly demonstrates that Princess does care about the local environment and air quality in Juneau, and that we're committed to innovative ways to prove this dedication,'' said Dean Brown, president of Princess Tours. ``It also shows that we're willing to go to great lengths to address the concerns of Juneau residents. We recognize that Juneau's unique climatic conditions help contribute to smoke accumulation and local concern about air quality. Even though ambient air testing indicates there is virtually no deterioration in Juneau's air quality that can be attributed to cruise ship emissions, I think this demonstrates we are sensitive to people's concerns and want to continue as a responsible and welcomed summer visitor.''

Princess will outfit its ships with state-of-the-art technology that will connect to power distribution equipment located at the South Franklin Street Dock, where four of its five ships will be berthed next summer. When the line's ships arrive in Juneau in 2001, the engines will be shut off and surplus hydroelectric power provided by AEL&P will be used for the running of all onboard services while the ships are in port.

As part of the agreement with Princess, AEL&P will not be required to pay the capital cost of the service connection, and will rebate the revenues from power used by Princess to local residents.

``We've committed substantial resources to the research and design of the complex technology which allows us to shut down our ships' engines and use shore power,'' said Brown. ``There was no blueprint to turn to because this hasn't been done before in the cruise industry. This, along with the large financial commitment we're making, makes a huge statement about how important we believe this issue is.''

A letter of intent has been signed with AEL&P and the final agreement is subject to approval by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The City and Borough of Juneau must approve permits for construction of a substation to serve the South Franklin Street Dock.

``This is just another step by Princess and the cruise industry to help reduce the impact of our ships in Juneau,'' said Brown. Other measures taken by Princess include voluntarily changing its tour routes and eliminating more than 3,000 bus trips per season from Franklin Street and from Calhoun Avenue, relocating its motorcoach facility which eliminates 7,000 motorcoach trips through the downtown corridor each summer, and investing in smaller buses which help to alleviate congestion downtown and in various areas of the city and borough. Princess also continues to burn low-sulfur diesel fuel in its motorcoaches to reduce emissions, and participates in the Voluntary Compliance Program established by the Tourism Advisory Committee and the City and Borough of Juneau.

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