WASHINGTON: The Port of Oakland has approved a $230,000 high-voltage cable system allowing more vessels to connect to its shore power facility, with the equipment aiding efforts to limit ships’ diesel emissions, the AJOT has reported. The port said that two successful trials of the mobile cable-on-reel system have taken place and it expects the new technology to be put into place full-time by the autumn. According to the port, the 200-foot system will be put into force by Oakland International Container Terminal and will link up to ships unable to closely align with landside electrical vaults at berth. Vessels will turn off their diesel engines when plugging into the vaults and instead be powered by the port’s landside power grid, meaning that diesel emissions during calls to Oakland will be eliminated.
Equipment for the new system includes a 10-foot-tall reel attached to a trailer, a mobile platform that can be used alongside any vessel and cable that will link up vessels to one of the terminal’s 18 shore power electrical vaults. The port said that the decision will accelerate the program that has aided the slashing of emissions in Oakland by 76% since 2009. Commenting on the move, Chris Chan, the director of engineering at the Port of Oakland, said: “We’re continually working to reduce emissions. This is a way to build on our success and extend our reach.” Other initiatives aimed at reducing ship emissions at the port include converting ships to low-sulfur fuel when they near the coast of California, moving ships in and out of the port quickly so they do not have to be sent to anchor in San Francisco Bay, with their engines running while they wait for berths, and consolidating cargo on fewer but bigger ships to decrease the amount of vessel calls.