On the Waterfront: Pier T Keeps Docked Ships Clean, Green

Jun. 2–It took five years and $23 million, but BP and the Port of Long Beach have finally finished the electrification project at one of the nation’s busiest oil terminals.

The project allows BP’s massive tankers to shut down their soot-spewing auxiliary diesel engines and plug into oversized electrical outlets while visiting Pier T. That is expected to remove at least 50 tons of pollutants from local skies each year. Ships typically run their auxiliary engines around the clock while berthed to power lighting, refrigeration, pumps and other onboard equipment. The Berth T121 project is an engineering feat, but as is the case with many pioneering ventures, the project was fraught with delays, cost overruns and engineering miscalculations. Scheduled for completion in 2006, it only began cold-ironing permanently this year. Still, when people are getting sick from foul air caused by port industry, the ends arguably justify the means.

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