US cash injection to green port operations

US ports are investing in zero-emission projects following a massive cash injection from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.

New electric equipment, retrofits and shore power are among the scope of projects made possible for ports as states release cash from the US$2.9bn VW Mitigation Trust.

Electric STS cranes

In its fourth funding allocation from the Volkswagen emissions settlement, in which it received US$93.6m, the State of Virginia has released US$14m to the Port of Virginia to use alongside US$10m of the port’s own funds to deploy two all-electric ship-to-shore cranes at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). The funding will also support the initial deployment of all-electric yard tractors and charging infrastructure at the Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT).

“We are pleased to be part of the next steps in building Virginia’s clean energy economy,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “These investments will help the Port of Virginia continue our efforts to reduce emissions, be good stewards of the environment, and provide world-class service to our customers.”

The Port of Virginia project is expected to permanently eliminate more than 3,000t of diesel pollution, more than 71,000t of greenhouse gases, and more than 6m gallons of diesel fuel.

US$423m for California

California has received US$423m in the settlement and has US$35m available for zero-emission projects including all-electric or fuel cell propulsion and the installation of shore power at berths. Another US$35m is expected to be available in 2022. Take-up of the money for zero-emission retrofits is expected to be driven by ports.

The US$423m total funding includes US$90m for zero-emission trucks, a priority area for California following the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Truck regulation.

Investment in clean trucks is a well-established key initiative at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where over 100 trucks outfitted with the cleanest, ultra-low NOx engines are now operating.

The VW Mitigation Trust was established from the settlement VW was ordered to pay to the US Government to mitigate harm from NOx emissions coming from the company’s use of illegal emissions testing devices in some of its previously built diesel passenger cars.
Source: Port Strategy (

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