Ocean-Going Vessel Emission Reduction

Control Measures for Ocean-Going Vessels (OGV)


  • Vessel speed reduction
  • Shore Power/Alternative Maritime Power® (AMP)®
  • Fuel Improvements for main engines, auxiliary engines, and auxiliary boilers
  • Cleaner OGV engines
  • Technology improvements for OGV engines

Ocean-Going Vessel Emission Reduction

The Port of Los Angeles’ voluntary Environmental Ship Index Program has been developed to reward vessel operators for reducing Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM), greenhouse gasses (GHG), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from their ocean-going vessels (OGVs).  This program rewards operators for going beyond compliance by bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to the Port and demonstrating technologies onboard their vessels. It also encourages use of cleaner technology and practices in advance of regulations.

OGVs are the single largest source of Southern California goods movement air emissions and they make up approximately half of all port-related air emissions. Since 2005, voluntary emission reduction programs have yielded substantial reductions. However, based on current forecasts, the Port needs additional emission reductions to meet goals established in the Clean Air Action Plan.  By 2023, this plan calls for 77 percent DPM reductions and 59 percent NOx reductions.

Three Incentive Opportunities
There are three additive incentive opportunities within this program that started October 1, 2016:

1. Environmental Ship Index Incentive
2. OGV5 - International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tier III Standards
3. OGV6 - Technology Advancement Program Demonstration

To be eligible for these incentives, operators must register with the international Environmental Ship Index (ESI). To receive the incentive payment, operators also must register with the Los Angeles Harbor Department (LAHD). Registration is free, and the incentive grant is paid on a quarterly basis. Registration information is listed below. Environmental Ship Index Incentive
ESI is an international clean ship indexing program developed through the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI). IAPH/WPCI seeks international collaboration among ports and shipping lines to reduce air emissions, greenhouse gases, and promote sustainability. Operators earn the ESI incentive by using cleaner technology and practices that reduce emissions beyond the regulatory requirements set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). A point system resulting in an ESI score for each vessel is used to qualify for the incentive.To obtain an ESI score, the operator must upload the following information to the ESI website:

NOx Points:
Rated power, and rated engine speed (rpm) as well as actual NOx emissions (g/kWH) for the vessel’s main and auxiliary engines. (This information is contained in the vessel’s EIAPP Certificate.)

SOx Points:
Amount and fuel sulfur content per bunkering event for heavy fuel oil, marine gas oil (MGO)/marine diesel oil (MDO) above 1 percent sulfur, less than or equal to 0.5 to greater than 0.1 percent sulfur and less than 0.1 percent sulfur. (This information is contained in the vessel’s bunker delivery notes.)Confirmation that the vessel is Onshore Power Supply (OPS) ready or capable of plugging into shoreside electrical power also known as Alternative Maritime Power® (AMP®). CO2 Points:
Vessel operator reports fuel consumption and nautical miles sailed.

The greater the ESI score, the larger the incentive. Each OGV is eligible for an incentive grant on a per call basis to the Port of Los Angeles based on the following ESI scores:

50 or greater: $2,500 per call
40-49: $750 per call
The Port will pay incentives to vessel operators for ship calls only after the date they have registered for ESI.

OGV5 - International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tier III Standards
The OGV5 incentive focuses on reducing NOx from vessels in transit by rewarding shipping lines with the cleanest ship engines.OGV with an IMO Tier III main engine is eligible for an incentive grant of $5,000 per call. The IMO Tier III emission standard is required for marine diesel engines installed on or after January 1, 2016 that are used on ships operating in IMO Emission Control Areas (ECA) designated for controlling NOx emissions, which includes the North American ECA covering the Port, effective August 1, 2012.  The IMO Tier III main engine NOx emission limit is 3.4 g/kW-hr.

OGV6 - Technology Advancement Program Demonstration
The OGV6 - Technology Advancement Program (TAP) demonstration incentive is designed for existing vessels calling at the Port of Los Angeles.  This program provides an incentive for OGVs that are demonstrating an emission reduction technology that reduces DPM and NOx emissions.  All testing and demonstrations will be conducted through the San Pedro Bay Ports Technology Advancement Program. TAP demonstration: $750 per call

Free online registration is available to participate in the incentive program. To register with the Environmental Ship Index, visit http://esi.wpci.nl/Public/Home/AboutESI. Vessel operators must provide basic information about their company.  Once a company account has been established, operators can register as few or as many of their vessels as they want. To continue to qualify for the incentive, shipping lines must provide quarterly data updates.  Click here to register with the Los Angeles Harbor Department. LAHD registration tells the Port where to send the remittance and what tax forms are required.

ESI Launch: July 1, 2012
ESI Registration: Continuous
Incentive Distribution: Quarterly


Vessel Speed Reduction Program

The objective of the Vessel Speed Reduction Program (VSRP) is to reduce NOx emissions from ocean-going vessels by slowing their speeds as they approach or depart the Port, generally at 20 nautical miles from Point Fermin. A voluntary VSR Program was established in 2001 with the signing of a cooperative Memorandum of Understanding among the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Steamship Association of Southern California and Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. The Marine Exchange of Southern California supplies both ports with vessel speed data. Since the establishment of the VSR program in 2001, the compliance rate has steadily increased each year. In November of 2006, the Los Angeles and Long Beach Boards of Harbor Commissioners adopted the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). The VSR Program is one of the control measures identified in the CAAP. The measure sets a standard for 100 percent of ocean-going vessels to decrease their speeds to 40 nautical miles from Point Fermin. 

Click here to view Vessel Speed Reduction Program incentive guidelines.
Click here to view 2018 Vessel Speed Reduction Program compliance data.
Click here to view 2017 Vessel Speed Reduction Program compliance data.
Click here to view 2016 Vessel Speed Reduction Program compliance data.
Click here to view 2015 Vessel Speed Reduction Program compliance data.