Alabama Port applies for federal grant to support emissions-reduction efforts

The Alabama Port Authority has applied for a federal grant to launch a major emissions reduction effort at port facilities. 

Mobile, Alabama port at sunset in April; Credit: Alabama Port Authority

The Port Operations With Emissions Reduction Project, or POWER Project, would be funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Ports initiative.

The Alabama Port Authority is applying for $69 million in funding to deploy new technologies, all of which will add to the growing number of electric and clean fuel vehicles already in use at the port.

“As the Port grows and supports Alabama’s economy, we want to ensure that we’re being good neighbors and good stewards of our environment. We believe that, if the EPA approves this grant application, this funding can be put to use right away toward a variety of emissions reduction programs that will modernize Port operations and further strengthen our environmental commitment,” said Alabama Port Authority Director and CEO John Driscoll.

If awarded, the grant would fund the following items to support the port authority and several private terminal operators and businesses in the Port of Mobile:

  • Two electric switcher locomotives;
  • Installation of three shore power units (cold ironing) at two marine terminals;
  • 36 electric terminal trucks and four electric container top loaders;
  • Two electric material handling cranes;
  • Six electric forklifts.

The port noted that the deployment of shore power units will have a direct impact on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of ships while docked.

In partnership with Alabama Power, the installation of shore power will allow ships to use external energy sources instead of idling engines as they are being loaded and unloaded. When docked and connected to shore power, the ships will not produce engine emissions.

“Alabama Power is committed to resilient and reliable solutions for our customers. We look forward to partnering with the Alabama Port Authority as it works to make improvements and modernize equipment,” stated Leigh Davis, Alabama Power’s Senior Vice President of Customer Solutions and Business Development.

“If approved by the EPA, Alabama Power is prepared to fully support this effort.”

“If selected, the POWER Project will eliminate an impressive 8777 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually,” commented Jennifer Denson, Executive Director of Partners for Environmental Progress.

“The Port is a longstanding supporter of our work, and with this grant, they are taking yet another step to prioritize environmentally sustainable and flexible practices as they continue to drive impressive economic growth statewide.”

The Alabama Port Authority serves all 67 counties in the state of Alabama and oversees the deep-water public port facilities at the Port of Mobile.

In addition to interstate, air, and rail, the port authority’s container, general cargo, and bulk facilities have immediate access to nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterways.

Once the channel deepening and widening project is completed, the Port of Mobile will be the deepest container terminal in the Gulf of Mexico.