The air is a little cleaner at the Port of Los Angeles these days. Just this month, the new and improved Crowley harbor class tug Leader re-entered the ship assist and escort fleet of vessels following an extensive repowering of the vessel’s main engines and generators.

The repower project, the first of four Crowley tug engine replacements, will help reduce emissions and lessen overall environmental impact and is part of a larger Port of Los Angeles emissions and air quality initiative requiring vessel operators to upgrade their engines to be Tier II emissions compliant by 2013. The repower will reduce particulate matter emissions by 3.24 tons and mono-nitrogen oxides by 109.52 tons per year for all four tugs combined. Repowering each tug costs Crowley more than $1 million and is largely being funded with a portion of a $4 million Port of Los Angeles Air Quality Mitigation Incentive Program air quality improvement grant. This project also benefits the neighboring Port of Long Beach, which has environmental goals and clean air quality initiatives that are closely aligned with those of the Port of Los Angeles.

Crowley partners

“The Port of Los Angeles is proud to work with Crowley and help provide funding for this important initiative,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “We are thrilled to see the first repowered Crowley tug operational here at the Port. It is this kind of partnership between public agencies and private business that is helping us meet our clean air action plan goals.”

Crowley partnered with Bay Ship and Yacht Co. to handle the engine repower project for the tugs Leader, Admiral, Scout and Master. The Leader was completed earlier this month and the company expects to re-introduce the fourth repowered vessel to the service in early 2010.

“We are delighted to partner with the Port of Los Angeles in introducing lower emissions vessels and cannot stress enough how their commitment and generous financial support made this project possible,” said Frosty Leonard, manager of marine operations for Crowley in California. “This engine repower project not only reduces emissions and improves air quality significantly, it also offers our customers more effective, efficient and environmentally sound service today instead of waiting until 2013.”

Crowley chose to replace the vessels’ CAT 3516 main engines with CAT 3512 engines, and the CAT 3304 auxiliary engines with the new CAT model C4.4 generators, more than three years before the mandated compliance date.’ As an added bonus the engines - although four cylinders smaller in size - have increased bollard pull for the vessel from 51 tons to 59 tons, further enhancing the vessel’s effectiveness.

Bay Ship and Yacht performed the repowering and routine vessel maintenance, including the complete rebuild of both of the tug’s Voith propulsion units. The entire drive unit repower and rebuild was completed in only 28 days, helping to return the vessel to active duty in record time.

“Bay Ship & Yacht took on this project because we knew we could perform for Crowley,” said Alan Cameron, co-owner of Bay Ship & Yacht.

Bay Ship Project Manager David Ashton also expressed satisfaction in being able to deliver for Crowley and the Port in just 28 days.

“Bay Ship is extremely pleased to be an integral part of keeping Crowley’s vessels working with minimal delays, while helping the Port of Los Angeles reduce emissions and improve the environment in which the vessels work,” Ashton said. “Completing all this work took a tremendous amount of planning and coordination of all trades, including a tremendous amount of cooperation with Crowley. Bay Ship’s abilities and the technical expertise of all the technical advisors, along with the complete cooperation of the senior management of Bay Ship helped to bring this project to fruition and allowed for project success. We now look forward to repowering the rest of the Los Ange