The air is a little cleaner at the Port of Los Angeles these days. Just this month, the new and improved Crowley harbor class tug Leader re-entered the ship assist and escort fleet of vessels following an extensive repowering of the vessel's main engines and generators.
The repower project, the first of four Crowley tug engine replacements, will help reduce emissions and lessen overall environmental impact and is part of a larger Port of Los Angeles emissions and air quality initiative requiring vessel operators to upgrade their engines to be Tier II emissions compliant by 2013. The repower will reduce particulate matter emissions by 3.24 tons and mono-nitrogen oxides by 109.52 tons per year for all four tugs combined.
Repowering each tug costs Crowley more than $1 million and is largely being funded with a portion of a $4m Port of Los Angeles Air Quality Mitigation Incentive Program air quality improvement grant. This project also benefits the neighboring Port of Long Beach, which has environmental goals and clean air quality initiatives that are closely aligned with those of the Port of Los Angeles.
Crowley partnered with Bay Ship and Yacht Co. to handle the engine repower project for the tugs Leader, Admiral, Scout and Master. The Leader was completed earlier this month and the company expects to re-introduce the fourth repowered vessel to the service in early 2010.
Crowley chose to replace the vessels' CAT 3516 main engines with CAT 3512 engines, and the CAT 3304 auxiliary engines with the new CAT model C4.4 generators, more than three years before the mandated compliance date. As an added bonus the engines - although four cylinders smaller in size - have increased bollard pull for the vessel from 51 tons to 59 tons, further enhancing the vessel's effectiveness.
Bay Ship and Yacht performed the repowering and routine vessel maintenance, including the complete rebuild of both of the tug's Voith propulsion units. The entire drive unit repower and rebuild was completed in only 28 days, helping to return the vessel to active duty in record time.