Long Beach to lease Middle Harbour property to OOCL in dock expansion

2012 02 29

THE Port of Long Beach says it has reached a tentative agreement on a 40-year US$4.6 billion lease with Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) for use of the Middle Harbour property, "in what would be the largest deal of its kind for any US seaport", a statement from port authorities said.

This comes as work on Phase 1 of the Middle Harbour Redevelopment Project reaches that part of the plan to combine two aging facilities into one modern terminal to speed movement of cargo and improve environmental performance.

The nine-year, $1.2 billion project will upgrade piers, water access and storage area, as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard. The project is expected to cut air pollution.

Phase 1 of the project began in spring last year. Currently, landfill for part of a new wharf is in place and concrete piles to support the wharf deck are being sunk. Crews are also at work on the wharf's electrical infrastructure, which will eventually power cranes and allow ships at berth to plug into the power grid instead of burning diesel to make electricity, the statement said.

By October, dredging work was completed in the main ship channel all the way into the Middle Harbour and East Basin, improving access for oil tankers and creating one of the deepest harbours among US seaports.

In keeping with the port's green port policy and the San Pedro Bay ports clean air plan, the project is required to minimise or eliminate negative environmental impacts from shipping operations.

To improve air quality and reduce environmental impacts, the project includes shoreside power for ships, expanded on-dock rail to shift more than 30 per cent of the cargo shipments from trucks to trains, cleaner yard equipment, electric rail-mounted gantry cranes, green flag vessel speed reduction programme requirements, use of low-sulphur fuels for ships' main and auxiliary engines, storm water pollution prevention, solar panels, and the reuse or recycling of waste materials such as concrete, steel and copper during construction.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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