Reefer plugs in to shoreside power at Port of Hueneme

Written by Nick Blenkey
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APRIL 25, 2014 — Hamburg Sud’s M/V Cap Palmerston plugged into shoreside power at the Port of Hueneme, California, at a recent ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce the port’s Grid-Based Shore Power system.

The initial test of “plugging in” a vessel is critical to assessing the performance of this new and very high voltage shore power system. It is also vital to ensuring all trained units including ILWU and ship operators become comfortable with operating the gear. The process tests the vessel’s ability to synchronize with and connect to the port’s grid-based system.

The successful test was a second major milestone for the system. The first milestone was the load bank test in December 2013 that demonstrated the system’s capability to provide a reliable, steady source of shore power.

“Green is no cliché for the Port of Hueneme,” said Port Commission President Mary Anne Rooney. “We take action and make environmental sustainability a top priority in our business plan to ensure we improve the quality of life and bring prosperity to the communities we serve. This project represents perhaps the single largest reduction in air emissions by one project in the history of the county.

Calfornia has put in place legislation mandating that refrigerated cargo vessels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cold ironing their auxiliary engines when at berth in California ports. By connecting to the Grid-Based Shore Power System, reefer vessels calling the Port of Hueneme will run their auxiliary systems on shore power in lieu of diesel fuel.

The Port of Hueneme’s shoreside power project “represents a giant leap forward for the Port and the community” said Port CEO and Director Kristin Decas. “Over the lifetime of this project (30 years), annual emissions from refrigerated cargo vessels also known as ‘reefer vessels’ will be significantly reduced.”

Anticipated reductions include a 92% reduction in PM, 98% reduction in NOx, and a 55% reduction in greenhouse gasses.

Board Vice President Jess Herrera said, “The success of the project is tied directly to the critical partners that brought significant funds to help build this shore power system. Together we are creating jobs and building a cleaner environment for the citizens of the community and region. We extend our sincere gratitude for their support.”

The Port of Hueneme is the only deep water harbor between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area and is the U.S. Port of Entry for California’s central coast region. The port moves $8 billion in goods each year and consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce.

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