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More funding for clean equipment

Terminals in Long Beach will test equipment and compare equipment with battery-electric and a fuel cell drive system from companies including Taylor, Kalmar and China’s Sinotruck.

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The ports of LA and Long Beach continue to announce new funding and initiatives as they try to pave the way for their terminal operators to meet the requirement in the Clean Air Action Plan for all cargo handling equipment to be zero emissions by 2030.

“As part of its commitment to transition to zero-emissions operations, the Port of Long Beach will use a $5.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to deploy hydrogen- and electric-powered cargo-handling equipment at two shipping terminals,” Long Beach announced.

This latest project is called “Commercialization of POLB Off-Road Technology Demonstration Project (C-PORT), and is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that redirects funds from the state’s “cap-and-trade” carbon pricing programme to research and development in new technology that reduces emissions.

“The demonstration will include three cargo-moving vehicles known as “top handlers” with never-before-tested battery-electric systems. The project will also feature a unique, head-to-head comparison of hydrogen fuel cell vs. battery-electric technology in yard trucks. In total, five vehicles will be demonstrated: two battery-electric top handlers at SSA Marine’s Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J; and one fuel cell yard tractor, one battery-electric top handler and one battery-electric yard tractor at Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier E”, Long Beach announced.


The battery electric top handlers will be supplied by Taylor Machine Works, with a battery system from China’s BYD. The terminal tractors at LBCT will be one Kalmar machine with a drive system from TransPower, and one from CNHTC/Sinotruck with a fuel cell system from Loop Energy, and hydrogen supplied by AirProducts.

During the consultation process for the 2030 zero emissions target under the CAAP the terminal operators represented by Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) argued that the 2030 goal was both technically impossible and unrealistically expensive. In response the ports and agencies like CARB have increased funding for R&D projects, and pushed to bring more discipline and coordination to the process of developing and testing clean technology.

“Our partnerships with the California Air Resources Board and other agencies provide crucial funding for these vital demonstration projects as we work to create a zero-emissions seaport,” said Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Executive Director.

The equipment is expected to be put into use to begin the demonstration next year.

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