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FMC’s Fourth Annual Port Environmental Initiatives Forum Highlights Cutting Edge of Sustainability

Posted
June 16, 2016

The Federal Maritime Commission’s Fourth Annual Port Environmental Initiatives Forum was held on June 9 at Commission headquarters. Discussion focused on how cutting edge technologies in port design and management are being envisioned to enhance economic and environmental efficiencies at ports. The goal of the event was to highlight real, attainable, and replicable innovations that other port groups might be able to model.

Panelists this year included Anthony Otto, President, Long Beach Container Terminal; Bill Richardson, Environmental Manager, Safety, Environment & Risk Management, Maryland Port Administration (MPA); and Mike Derby, General Manager East Coast and Environmental Affairs, Region Americas and General Manager, North Atlantic, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) Americas LLC. The panel was moderated by Kurt Nagle, President, American Association of Port Authorities.

“I am truly impressed by the projects being launched by these three entities,” said Chairman Cordero. “They demonstrate that both the private and public sector are cognizant of environmental health and safety concerns and know that working together can produce new and innovative ways to use resources efficiently and stay competitive. I appreciate the participation of the panelists and the opportunity for Commission staff to stay on top of developments in port, terminal and shipping industries. I look forward to learning about the next phase of each of these projects.”

Mr. Otto discussed the Long Beach Container Terminal’s state-of-the-art facility, which it has touted as the “fastest and most efficient gate facility in the industry” and “first near zero emission container terminal in U.S.” Phase I of the project has already been completed, and the entire project is set to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2019. Among the many advancements contemplated in the project are all-berth vessel access to “cold ironing”; high-efficiency and electrified STS, ASC and IY Cranes; and zero-emission battery AGV for horizontal transport. The Terminal boasts to be the cleanest container terminal in the world. The Terminal will be able to handle the largest vessels contemplated, including 20,000-TEU vessels, and those vessels will be able to plug into shore power to eliminate pollution while at berth. The Terminal’s 2,700-ton ship-to shore cranes—the largest in the world— will be able to lift two containers at once, delivering them to an all-electric, zero-emission transport system. Emission reduction in terms of particle pollutants for container handling equipment will be reduced by 95%.

Mr. Derby discussed the initiatives WWL is engaging in to keep the organization sustainable, healthy, and competitive. He highlighted a few key initiatives that are in line with WWL’s ambition to be “an environmental front-runner” within its field. These initiatives include collecting rain water and re-using it for washing cars and equipment; putting all water through a filtering system; using solar power where possible and extensive use of LED or energy-efficient equipment; and generally aiming to minimize water and electricity use and waste production. He also spoke about a new facility named MIRRAT that WWL custom built in Melbourne, Australia, that incorporates these initiatives and more.

Mr. Richardson spoke about environmental initiatives launched by the Maryland Port Administration, including finding innovative ways to improve water and air quality. The facility has been improved in several significant ways. To combat climate change and sea level rise, the facility has raised the elevation for new constructions and has also installed storm vaults. The MPA is also evaluating whether to convert to shore power. As to energy conservation, the MPA has installed solar panels at the cruise terminal and cargo shed. Finally, as to water quality and air quality projects, the MPA has retrofitted older buildings with lightweight green roofs, replaced dozens of polluting dray trucks, and begun experimenting with algae-driven fuel cells.

(Left to Right): Anthony Otto, Mike Derby, Bill Richardson