The Port of Los Angeles is pushing ahead with a portion of its clean air program that aims to reduce diesel emissions from ships docked at the port.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a $4 million contract to install equipment on the Evergreen Marine Corp. Ltd. terminal that will allow docked cargo ships to plug into shore-side electrical power.

Alternative maritime power, also known as "cold ironing," is a method being pushed by the ports to reduce pollution from ships by allowing them to turn off their diesel engines and plug into an electrical generator while berthed.

The port has pledged to spend $50 million to build an alternative maritime power infrastructure on its docks as part of its $2 billion clean air plan. And just last month the port welcomed the Xin Ya Zhou, the world's largest alternative maritime vessel.

Under the new contract, the port will purchase an electrical power generator from McLean, Va.-based Dynalectric Co. that will power ships docked at three Terminal Island berths.

The port was the first in the world to use the technology when China Shipping Co. opened an alternative maritime power terminal in 2004. There are several shipping companies and terminal operators that plan to install them in the near future, including shipper NYK, which plans to install a generator at its terminal next month.

Electrical generators are not the only option when it comes to cold ironing. Signal Hill-based Wittmar Engineering & Construction makes a liquefied natural gas generator that is considerably cheaper than the electrical versions, but port officials have said it would not provide enough power for larger ships.

Posting Executives

The Port of Long Beach has filled two newly created executive positions in the past two weeks as it revamps its management team.

The port's Board of Harbor Commissioners appointed Jim Santa Ana to be engineering design director, and hired Eric Shen away from the City of Pasadena to be the director of transportation planning.

The moves come as the port divides its operations into four bureaus: engineering; environmental affairs and planning; finance and support services; and trade relations and port operations.

Santa Ana will oversee design projects and studies related to construction on the port's terminals, roadways and other facilities. Santa Ana, who previously served as deputy chief harbor engineer of design, first joined the port in 1999.

Shen, who has spent the past seven years as the transportation planning and development manager in Pasadena, will shepherd new transportation initiatives at the port. He will also oversee the Green Port Policy, which aims to reduce air pollution from port activities.

Volvo Headed for L.A.

A major international equipment rental corporation is looking to expand its profile in Los Angeles, where the construction industry is still booming.

Volvo Rents, a construction equipment rental business operated by Swedish carmaker AB Volvo, has targeted Los Angeles for franchise expansion. The stores offer tools for the commercial, industrial and residential construction markets.

"Los Angeles' economic characteristics make this market a great match for Volvo Rents," said Nick Mavrick, vice president of global sales, in a statement. "The construction equipment rental industry is growing and this is a great time for entrepreneurs to join the program."

Driven by booming high rise, school and other projects, local construction spending is expected to surpass $16 billion in 2008.

Super Enova

Enova Systems Inc. is finding support for its environmentally friendly buses halfway across the globe.

Transportation officials in London have ordered six vehicles powered by the Torrance-based company's hybrid drive system.

The so-called Electrocity buses represent the fruit of a partnership between Enova and the Wright Group, a Northern Ireland-based bus builder. The purchase will double the number of Electrocity buses on London streets to 12.

Enova makes a variety of hybrid, electric and fuel cell digital power management systems.

Cargo Roundup

There has been concern over the local ports' falling import numbers, but there has been a bright spot. Exports are up significantly at both ports as a weakening dollar has made U.S. prices more competitive abroad.

September exports at the Port of Long Beach are up more than 36 percent over last year to 134,842 containers. At the Port of Los Angeles, exports increased more than 9 percent to 135,716 containers.

Overall though, total combined container volume at the two ports fell slightly last month to 1,406,343, off 9,671 from September 2006. That is in contrast to years of robust monthly growth.

Staff reporter Richard Clough can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 251, or at

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