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TOTE plugs into shore power at the Port of Tacoma

TOTE plugs into shore power at the Port of Tacoma

Sparked by an EPA grant worth nearly US$1.5m, two TOTE cargo ships will now plug into electrical power and shut down diesel engines while docked during weekly calls at their Tacoma terminal.

The US$2.7m shore power project will reduce diesel and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% during TOTE’s 100 ship calls each year in Tacoma, equal to around 1.9 tons of diesel particulates and 1,360 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

TOTE, a private shipping company that serves the Alaska trade, contributed about US$1.2m to retrofit the two ships to accommodate shore power connections and add some of the terminal infrastructure. The Port of Tacoma provided environmental permitting, grant administration and project management.

“By plugging in, TOTE and the Port of Tacoma are using clean energy instead of fossil fuels,” said Dennis McLerran, EPA Regional Administrator. “The project has three major benefits: It reduces greenhouse gas emissions, creates healthier air and spurs job growth.”

In addition to retrofitting two TOTE ships with certified ship-side technology, the project installed a shore-side connection system and power at the Port’s TOTE terminal.

This project supports the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, adopted in early 2008 by the Port and its regional partners, the ports of Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., to meet jointly established short- and long-term clean air goals for ships, cargo-handling equipment, rail, trucks and harbour craft. About half the ships that call frequently at the Port already meet the 2010 clean-air goal for ships by using cleaner-burning distillate fuel at berth. TOTE ships, which call twice a week in Tacoma, will boost that number to 64% by plugging into the shore power system.