Photo: Port of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach rewards eco ships with ‘world’s highest’ bonus

California’s Port of Long Beach, the second-busiest container port in the United States, has adopted a new amendment to its Green Ship Incentive Program, now offering “the world’s most generous sustainable vessel financial incentives.”

The approved changes are centered around incorporating the international Environmental Ship Index (ESI) into the Green Ship Incentive Program.

As disclosed, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners adopted the amendment on 10 May, and the update will be effective as of 1 July.

According to the port, incorporating ESI standards would be a major shift from the current program which simply rewards vessel operators for deploying ships with cleaner engines.

Under the auspices of the IAPH’s World Ports Sustainability Program, ESI enables ports and other interested parties to incentivize ships to use cleaner engines and fuels with preferential treatment offered either through discounts on port dues, bonuses or other benefits commensurate with a specified level of cleanliness.

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Specifically, the 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, according to the statement.

With this change being effective, the port is said to offer additional financial incentives for operators who invest in cleaner fuels, ship modifications, or onboard technologies that reduce emissions beyond IMO standards.

“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,” Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Executive Director, pointed out.

Currently, there are more than 50 ports and 8,000 vessels participating in this program.

Under the port’s Green Ship Incentive Program, which began in 2012, more than $1.7 million incentives were paid to participants in 2020.