ôKö Line nearing completion of Long Beach ship-to-shore retrofits
Tokyo-based ocean carrier 'K' Line said Monday it is nearing completion on retrofitting five of its fleet vessels for use with shore side electric power while at dock.
The five vessels, part of a fleet of six operating on the firm's CALCO-C route between Long Beach and Hong Kong, are: Chicago Bridge, Rotterdam Bridge, Genoa Bridge, Shanghai Bridge and Long Beach Bridge.
The announcement came following meetings in the Japanese capital with officials from the Port of Long Beach.
The retrofitting allows the ocean carrier to comply with portions of its Long Beach terminal lease signed last July with the port. Once the retrofits are completed, the vessels will be able to tap into the landside electrical power grid instead of running auxiliary engines while at dock in Long Beach. Vessels idling while in the harbor are the major source of port-generated air pollution.
Though the ships will now have the capability to use the shore side power, called 'cold ironing,' the port has yet to provide the shore side facilities to connect to the vessels. The port is proposing a $600 million upgrade of 'K' Line's International Transportation Service terminal that would include the cold ironing facilities, but most large-scale development at the port has been stalled for several years by threatened litigation over environmental documents. According to the port, the cold ironing facilities are not likely to be ready for use until mid-2008.
More than 50 'K' Line or 'K' Line partnered vessels call at Long Beach on regular schedules. The carrier maintains a worldwide fleet of more than 80 vessels.