POLB gives environmental awards to vessel operators
The Port of Long Beach in May held its first Environmental Achievement Awards ceremony and honored 22 shipping lines for their efforts to improve air quality by slowing down or deploying cleaner vessels.
Previously, the port authority held an annual event for its Green Flag and Green Ship Awards. Port officials have now decided to also recognize companies that participated in both voluntary programs.
The Green Flag program was created in 2005 to limit pollution and last year 99 percent of all ships calling at Long Beach slowed to 12 knots within 20 miles of the facility, the port authority said. Slower ships burn less fuel and emit less exhaust.
In 2009, the port added a 40-nautical mile option and last year 88 percent of vessels slowed within that range. Ships also receive financial incentives for participation as well as a green flag medallion. Green Flag participants were awarded $2.9 million in dockage incentives.
Seven of the largest vessel operators were honored as top performers, earning special Green Flags this year for their impact on air quality efforts.
Eight shipping lines received awards from the Green Ship program, which since July 2012 has encouraged vessel operators to deploy the cleanest-burning ships to the port. Green Ship participants were given $460,000 in incentives last year, the port authority said.
The newest award, Environmental Excellence, was given to seven vessel operators for participation in both the Green Flag and Green Ship programs. They include Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.; Matson Navigation; “K” Line; Mitsui OSK; Mediterranean Shipping Co.; Orient Overseas Container Line; and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.
The Green Flag winners in the 20-nautical-mile category included CMA CGM, and in the 40-nautical-mile category were Alaska Tanker, COSCO, NYK, Pacific International Lines and Zim.
Green Ship award winners were Tesoro Maritime, Unisea Shipping, Wan Hai Lines, Pacific Basin Chartering, ConocoPhillips, Navig8 Group, Chembulk Trading, and Oxbow Carbon & Minerals.
Overall, more than 200 vessel operators were awarded Green Flags for participation in 2013, and qualified for reductions on dockage fees. Through a series of initiatives since 2005, the Port of Long Beach has reduced nitrogen oxides by 54 percent, diesel exhaust by 81 percent, and sulfur oxides – which mainly come from ships – by 88 percent.
This article was published in the June 2014 issue of American Shipper.
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