Our vessel engineering, operations, and Safety, Quality, Environment, and Security Departments have been focused on reducing vessel emissions for many years. Since vessel fuel usage is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at Matson, increasing fuel efficiency, route optimization, and exploring alternative fuels have been important aspects of our strategy to reduce GHG emissions. To this end, Matson has reduced the Hawaii fleet from eleven vessels to nine vessels and implemented advanced fuel tracking reports for each vessel. Matson has retired all steamships from its fleet, and the new build main engines not only meet the IMO Tier II and Tier III standards for NOx emissions but are LNG capable.
Effective January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) has imposed regulations that generally require all vessels to burn fuel oil with a maximum sulfur content of 0.5 percent (“IMO 2020”). There are three main options for a ship to meet the new IMO 2020 requirements: (1) burn low sulfur fuel oil (“LSFO”), (2) install exhaust gas cleaning systems (commonly referred to as “scrubbers”) on vessels to purify exhaust from high sulfur fuel oil (“HSFO”), or (3) switch to lower-emission fuels such as liquefied natural gas (“LNG”). With respect to North America, all waters, with certain limited exceptions, within 200 nautical miles of U.S. and Canadian coastlines have been designated emission control areas (“ECAs”). Since January 1, 2015, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations have reduced the fuel oil maximum sulfur content in designated ECAs to ≤0.1 percent.
All of Matson’s vessels in the Alaska and Hawaii services are compliant with IMO 2020 and ECA regulations and can use LSFO. In the Alaska service, Matson has installed scrubbers on its three diesel-powered ships to allow them to use HSFO and still comply with IMO 2020 and ECA regulations. In the Hawaii service, Matson has announced plans to install scrubbers on six diesel-powered vessels to allow them to use HSFO and comply with IMO 2020 and ECA regulations. Matson’s four new Aloha and Kanaloa Class vessels burn compliant LSFO. These new ships are also equipped with dual-fuel engines and can be converted to run on LNG. All of Matson’s other vessels will use LSFO to meet IMO 2020 and ECA emission standards.
All of Matson’s vessels calling California are equipped with shore power (sometimes referred to as alternative maritime power, AMP, or cold ironing) systems. When ships use shore power at berths, they shut down their main and auxiliary engines and power systems using the electrical grid. Matson was an early adopter of shore power, plugging vessels in for the first time in Long Beach in 2011. The California Air Resources Board did not require ships to use shore power at berths until 2014. In California after 2020, the electrical grid used by the vessels while on shore power is mandated to be at least 33% renewable, carbon-free power. In 2019, the Port of Ningbo in China began making shore power berths available to Matson, allowing Matson vessels to shut down their engines and go electric when berthed.
Matson is proud to be a partner on a $50 million grant from the California Air Resources Board and a participant in the Sustainable Terminals Accelerating Regional Transformation (START) Project. At Matson’s Pier C terminal at the Port of Long Beach, the START Project will fund 34 pieces of zero-emission cargo-handling equipment, an electric-drive tugboat, five electric trucks at an off-dock container yard, and two heavy-duty truck charging outlets. At Matson’s Berth 63 terminal at the Port of Oakland, the START Project will fund five zero-emission yard tractors to shuttle containers within Matson’s marine terminal. Replacing diesel equipment with electric equipment eliminates local emissions of air pollutants, including toxic air contaminants, and GHG.
Matson participates in other voluntary programs to reduce emissions such as the Port of Long Beach Green Flag program, which encourages vessels to slow to 12 knots within 20 miles of the port. Slowing down reduces GHG and NOx emissions and is safer for marine wildlife. Since 2006, Matson has exceeded 90% compliance within the 20-mile speed reduction zone and has been consistently recognized as a top carrier by the Port of Long Beach. In addition, five of our ships that regularly call at the Port of Long Beach have qualified for the Port’s Green Ship program for achieving IMO Tier II NOx standards.
Matson is a proud member of BSR’s Clean Cargo, a business-to-business leadership initiative involving major brands, cargo carriers, and freight forwarders dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of global goods transportation and promoting responsible shipping. Clean Cargo has approximately 65 members consisting of ocean carriers and shippers concerned with the environmental impacts of transporting their goods. The objectives of the group include creating practical tools for measuring and reducing the environmental impact of global goods transportation, enabling direct dialogue between shippers and carriers, and driving standardization in the industry to increase efficiency and sustainability. Each year, member shipping companies provide environmental performance data and complete a qualitative Environmental Performance Survey which is shared within the group. To achieve standardization of environmental performance indicators, Clean Cargo also partners with other organizations such as International Maritime Organization, World Shipping Council, and U.S. EPA SmartWay.