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Port of Long Beach increases Green ship incentive

Photo caption: Mediterranean Shipping Company's MSC Jewel, at the time the cleanest container ship to visit the United States, is pictured here at the Port of Long Beach in August 2019. The MSC Jewel is powered by Tier III diesel engines, which are 75% cleaner than the Tier II standard set by the International Maritime Organization.

Offers the highest bonus in the world to attract cleaner ship

Ocean carriers bringing the greenest ships to the Port of Long Beach can earn the world’s most generous sustainable vessel financial incentives, beginning July 1, 2021.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners earlier this month approved changes centered around incorporating the international Environmental Ship Index (ESI) into the Port’s Green Ship Incentive Program, which began in 2012. A voluntary system, the ESI identifies seagoing ships exceeding the current emission standards of the International Maritime Organization.

The Green Ship Incentive Program has helped improve air quality, encouraging shipping lines to send their newest, cleanest oceangoing vessels to the Port of Long Beach. More than $1.7 million in incentives were paid to participants in 2020.

“Our goal is to increase participation in the already successful Green Ship Program by aligning it with international sustainable maritime transportation efforts,” said Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “These incentives are the largest offered to vessels and Tier III ships of any seaport, and we expect the update will have positive impacts in Long Beach and around the globe.”

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero noted more than 50 ports worldwide and more than 8,000 vessels participate in the Environmental Ship Index.

“This change and offer of financial rewards gives operators even more reasons to be socially responsible and make investments in cleaner fuels, ship modifications or on-board technologies that improve air quality beyond required standards,” said Cordero.

The updated program includes three incentive levels ranging from $600 to $6,000, depending on a vessel’s ESI score. Vessels with main engines meeting International Maritime Organization’s Tier III standard, which require dedicated NOx emission control technologies, are eligible for an additional $3,000 credit, meaning a vessel could be eligible for up to $9,000 on every call. Read the fact sheet on the program updates.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans­-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $200 billion in trade annually, supporting more than 575,000 Southern California jobs.