Port of Long Beach has decided to provide ocean carriers with financial incentives in order to improve its environmental footprint. Therefore POLB has announced that from 1 July, the companies bringing the greenest ships to the port can earn “the highest bonus in the world.”

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 (IMO).

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

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, according to the port’s announcement, while more than US$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, who has also highlighted that “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,” he pointed out.

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