Long Beach approves Middle Harbour US$750m redevelopment

Long Beach approves Middle Harbour US$750m redevelopment

The new terminal will double the cargo-moving capacity of the two existing facilities – Long Beach Container Terminal and California United Terminals – yet become one of the “greenest” most environmentally-friendly terminals in the world, cutting by half the air pollution generated from its operations. Construction could begin by the end of this year and will be phased over 10 years, allowing cargo operations to continue at the present terminals.

A major feature of the project will be to add 20 metres of rail track, which will allow nearly one-third of all the cargo to be moved by train, taking trucks off the road. The project will create a single 345-acre facility by merging the existing terminals and adding 51acres of land by filling in slips.

“This is a chance to move these two terminals into the modern era, into the container shipping industry’s greener and more business-friendly future,” said James Hankla, President of the Commissioners. “These two shipping terminals are among the oldest in the Port; they must be modernised and improved.”

Environmental technology and practices that reduce or control air pollution are a major benefit of the project, which, according to the Commissioners, will create one of the most advanced terminals in the world.

Among the steps to be put in place are:

• Vessels to use shore-side electricity when at the terminal

• Vessels to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions from 40 miles offshore

• Vessels to use clean-burning, low-sulphur fuels

• Cargo handling equipment to be the cleanest available

• Trucks to meet tough EPA emission standards

• Rail yard operations to use alternative fuels and cleanest equipment available

While the redevelopment project includes features to reduce specific emissions, there will be a cumulative impact on overall port operations. Approval of the project provides for US$15m in grants for measures that address the impact of air quality and greenhouse gas on the community, including protecting the health of school children and health-care facilities near the port.