The Port of Los Angeles is the first seaport in North America or the Pacific Rim to adopt an Environmental Ship Index (ESI) program. Carriers can receive up to $5,250 each time their newest and cleanest vessels call at the port.
Fourteen major European ports and more than 700 ships are already participating in the ESI program that rewards vessel operators for voluntary engine, fuel and technology enhancements that reduce emissions beyond International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) environmental standards.
The web-based ESI was developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative, a project of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. The Port of Los Angeles developed a more comprehensive ESI with input from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. It conforms with the San Pedro Bay Clean Ports Air Action Plan.
There are three incentive opportunities that can bring $250 to $5,250 per call. The first one is scoring 30 or more ESI points calculated by a rather complex formula using engine specifications, emissions certification and fuel type, plus whether there is a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) and an onshore power supply capability. Starting at $750 for 30 points, they go up to $1,250 for 40 or more points. Zero points are awarded for ships that just meet IMO requirements and 100 points if they are emissions-free.
Secondly, ships with an IMO Tier II main engine are awarded $750 per call, while IMO Tier III main engines are eligible for $3,250. Finally, vessels demonstrating emission-reduction technologies that reduce diesel particulate matter (DPM) and nitrogen oxides emissions as part of the San Pedro Bay Ports Technology Advancement Program receive $750 per call.
Initially, up to 30 percent of the ships calling at the port are expected to qualify for the incentives. This would cut DPM emissions by 16 tons within the first year and reduce emissions of other primary pollutants, namely nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and carbon dioxide. The port has committed $450,000 to jumpstart the program.
“The ESI sets the gold standard for green shipping and we encourage other ports to follow suit,” said the port’s executive director, Geraldine Knatz. “The larger success of this program lies in its adoption by as many ports as possible to increase the rewards for operators willing to invest in clean air and maximize the health benefits for everyone.”