First six shipping carriers sign onto ESI

Six shipping carriers have become the inaugural participants in the Port of Los Angeles Environmental Ship Index (ESI), an international clean air program that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to the port. Developed via the International Association of Ports & Harbors’ World Ports Climate Initiative, the ESI program is the first of its kind in North America and the Pacific Rim.

Shipping carriers Evergreen, Hamburg Süd North America Inc, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Maersk Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and Yang Ming have registered for the global program and will begin receiving incentives later in 2012.

“We applaud these early adopters of the ESI program and encourage not only other carriers to participate, but also other ports to join this global port program,” said Geraldine Knatz, port executive director. “Growing participation among ports worldwide will increase the level of incentives available to ship operators that invest in and deploy the cleanest, most efficient, and environmentally friendly fleets.”

The web-based ESI program, already underway at 14 European ports, offers immediate clean air benefits by rewarding vessel operators for voluntary engine, fuel, and technology enhancements that reduce emissions from ships beyond regulatory environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The Port of Los Angeles developed its ESI with input from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and other stakeholders. Its program also conforms to the San Pedro Bay Clean Ports Air Action Plan, which sets specific bay-wide targets for near-term pollution reduction through 2014 and long-term objectives through 2023.

To participate, operators must enroll companies and vessels in ESI through the IAPH/WPCI website here. To receive the incentive payment, operators must also register with the Port of Los Angeles here. Registration is free.

Initially, up to 30% of the ships calling at the port are expected to qualify for the ESI incentives. A 30% participation would cut diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions by 16 tons within the first year and reduce emissions of other primary pollutants, namely nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2). The port has committed $450,000 to jump-start the program.

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