Disney, Norwegian & Princess Cruises – Port of LA 'AMP' Clients

By George Backwell at March 06, 2011 02:50
Filed Under: General

Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line ships have all been provided with 'Alternative Maritime Power' (AMP)  while berthed in the Port of Los Angeles over the past few weeks according to a Port correspondent on 24, February 2011, who also quoted Mayor Villaraigosa's proud statement that: "The use of AMP at our World Cruise Center [located in San Pedro] reduces emissions not just at the Port, but improves the quality of air throughout the Los Angeles region".

It sounds as if something noteworthy is afoot in sunny San Pedro, but coincidentallly the AMP concept is still widely known by another term with roots in the maritime past.

Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) – 'Cold Ironing'

AMP is known colloquially among many seafarers as 'Cold Ironing', a term stemming from the early steamship days when coal-fired boilers supplied steam to drive reciprocating and steam-turbine main engines. Once in port these boilers would be shut down to become literally  'cold iron'. Likewise, present-day ships' diesel generators may be completely shut down in some ports, utilizing an external  electrical supply –  AMP  –  to power on-board services.

As long ago as 2004, the Los Angeles Ports first initiated their AMP program to eliminate air pollution by exhaust gas emissions from container ship diesel auxiliary generators. In return for signing medium-term user leases, partner shipping companies were given financial incentives to defray the installation costs of the necessary on-board transformers, converters and switch-gear (cruise ships utilize either 6.6 kV or 11 kV electrical power distribution systems).  Benefits to participating ships include: saving in bunker fuel; the opportunity for planned engine maintenance; as well as a welcome absence of noise and vibration on board.

Disney Cruise Liner & AMP Facility: Photo credit – Port of Los Angeles

Mobile Alternative Maritime Power™

The Port of LA chose Cavotec Corporation's 'Mobile AMP™' system for its San Pedro wharves, on account of the flexibility of operation it provides: shore power is deployed and immediately activated as soon as the ship is safely moored; then as soon as soon as it clears the berth the mobile unit can be moved elsewhere.

The Cavotec Mobile AMP™ system consists of:

  • self-propelled Cavotec Power Caddy
  • special flexible rubber cables
  • Cavotec Connectors (up to 12kV)
  • motor-reducer
  • electrical control panel
  • special slipring assembly
  • twin heavy-duty drums
  • telescopic lifting arm

The mobile units are connected to a permanently installed  'Integrated Technical AMP Pit'  (fed with power from the electrical grid) which has multiple hub connection sockets.

'Cold Ironing' in conjunction with AMP is helping the Port of LA to achieve its worthy 'No Nett Increase Policy' goal:  rolling back and keeping air emissions at year 2001 levels.


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