Hueneme Port Expands Ship Pollution Reduction Program
The Port of Hueneme launched the second phase of its Grid-Connected Shore Power System, celebrating another next step forward in reducing air emissions and minimizing environmental impact. Among the community leaders attending the ribbon cutting were Congresswoman Julia Brownley, County Supervisor Kathy Long, Ms. Sabiha Khan with Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office, Port Hueneme Mayor Douglas Breeze, and VCTC chairman Keith Millhouse. By connecting to the Port’s Grid-Based Shore Power System, refrigerated cargo vessels calling the Port can shut down their auxiliary marine engines and operate on shore power in lieu of diesel fuel dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Port of Hueneme is an essential economic driver to our region and I am proud to have worked with community stakeholders and port leaders to support the grant for Phase II of the Shore Power Project,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “This project is a win for improving our environment, growing our local economy, and increasing the competitiveness of the port in the international marketplace.”
Supervisor Long said, “The Port of Hueneme’s continued environmental leadership in successfully implementing significant projects, such as this Shore Power System, have direct benefits on the community that surrounds the Port and throughout the region.”
The Port of Hueneme’s 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. “Environmental sustainability is a top priority for the Port and this largest emissions reduction project in county history represents our commitment to being a good neighbor by being a strong environmental steward” said Port Commission President Dr. Manuel Lopez.
Ventura County Transportation Commission Chairman, Keith Millhouse said “VCTC and the Port have long been partners when it comes to safe and efficient freight movement and now with the VCTC contribution of $1.7 million in federal funds for transportation and air quality purposes committed to the Shore Power project we are pleased to be partners for clean air as well.”
Phase I of the Shore Power system went online in April 2014, demonstrating the system’s ability to provide a reliable, steady source of power for ships at berth. It has been successfully used by ships from such companies as Del Monte Fresh and Hamburg Süd which carries products for Chiquita Fresh.
Mike Villegas with the Ventura county Air Quality control District said, “The Port of Hueneme and all its staff should be commended for their commitment to implementing this Shore Power project. By utilizing grid electricity instead of the auxiliary engines on these vessels the port is not only reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides which form smog, but they are reducing emissions of diesel particulate matter and providing a public health benefit to their neighbors.”
With the passage of AB 32 by the state assembly, programs were put in place mandating that refrigerated cargo vessels, called “reefer vessels” reduce greenhouse gas emissions for their ships at berth while in California ports. The major financial contributors for this project include the Ventura County Transportation Commission; the California Air Resources Board with proposition 1b funding; the Ventura County Air Quality Control District, providing grants for engineering; and Wells Fargo and Commercial Clearing House with a cash infusion from the Port’s New Market Tax Credit transaction.