The port says it is the first worldwide to provide Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) to three cruise lines. In the last few weeks, ships from Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have all used AMP Mobile technology, specifically designed for the port’s World Cruise Center.
The system allows cruise ships at berth to plug into either 6.6 kilovolts (kV) or 11 kV electrical power distribution systems, instead of running their diesel engines. The technology is often referred to as “cold ironing”.
Depending on the size of the ship, AMP can reduce NOx by one ton and take more than half a ton of sulfur oxides (SOx) out of the air each day the ship is plugged in, the port estimates.
Currently the power demand of the cruise ships calling at the Port of Los Angeles is anywhere between 8 and 13 MW of power, and the system can deliver up to 40 MW of power.
The World Cruise Center is the only port where two cruise ships can be connected simultaneously, the Port of Los Angeles said.
The port has three AMP “mobiles” that help it position and plug in power for cruise ships. They have 100 feet of lateral movement capability, and a remote-controlled arm adjusts to changing tides and locations of cruise ship power connections.
The mobiles were designed for the World Cruise Center by Port engineers and Cavotec, a global engineering firm.
The Port of Los Angeles said it was the first in the world to use AMP technology for in-service container ships, in 2004. Three major container terminals currently have AMP capabilities and more are coming on line later this year.
Princess Cruises signed an agreement with the port in 2007, committing to turning off the engines of its vessels at dockside. The cruiseline had launched similar shore power programs in Juneau, Alaska in 2001 and in Seattle, Washington in 2005.
“The use of AMP at our World Cruise Center reduces emissions not just at the Port but improves the quality of air throughout the Los Angeles region,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “The ability to adapt this technology to multiple cruise lines eliminates significant ship exhaust when cruise ships are at berth, and the AMP Mobile is another innovation that demonstrates our commitment to developing cutting-edge technology that can benefit port communities everywhere.”