December 5, 2022 — The Port of Hueneme received $10.4 million in funding from Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) to help build shoreside power plug-in infrastructure on its North Terminal. The Port also recently received state and federal funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to implement innovative technologies to increase electrification efforts, track air quality progress, and further reduce particulate matter. These environmental wins benefit the Port and its surrounding community.

At its December 2 board meeting, the VCTC unanimously voted to approve funding for numerous CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality) projects that reduce congestion and vehicle emissions. VCTC awarded the Port of Hueneme a $10.4 million grant for its North Terminal Shore Power Project.

Photo above: (Left to right) Ben Cacation, VCAPCD; Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director; Celina Zacarias, OHD Commissioner; Martin Erickson, Executive Director, VCTC; Brian MacDonald, VCTC Vice Chair & Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem; Len Mazzella, General Manager, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Services; Armando Mendez, Vice President of ILWU; Dona Lacayo, Chief Commercial & Public Affairs Officer; Miguel Rodriguez, Community Relations Manager; Michael Inda, Sup. Kelly Long’s Office; Adam Vega, Community Relations Specialist; KJ May, Engineering Manager; and Letitia Austin, Public & Government Relations Manager.

“This historic and unprecedented amount of funding allows the Port to continue its work reducing air emissions while continuing to move essential cargo,” said Mary Anne Rooney, President of the Oxnard Harbor District which owns of the Port of Hueneme. “Over the past 85 years, the Port has invested more than $20 million in mutually beneficial environmental projects that foster unity and collaboration with the most impactful and meaningful results for the community.”

“The funding will greatly benefit the Ventura County region by bringing an additional 94 percent reduction in particulate matter and a 99 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides for all shore-power capable car-carrying vessels over the lifetime of the project,” said Oxnard Harbor Commissioner, Celina Zacarias.

In 2014 the all-electric shoreside power systems went online at the South Terminal where container ships plug in to use the clean grid power. Since 2008, there has been an estimated 96% decrease in sulfur oxides (SOx) and an 77% reduction in harmful diesel particulate matter. This state-of-the-art electrification project allows car-carrying ships to connect to shoreside power to effectively eliminate diesel emissions while at berth. The Project will be built through the Port’s Project Labor Agreement. Many of the car-carrying vessels are used for the import and exports of passenger vehicles. In fact, customers report that 23 percent of the cars transiting the Port of Hueneme are electric vehicles, outperforming the national average of 4 percent. The Port of Hueneme ranks as one of the top six ports in the United States for automobile trade. Passenger vehicles account for a quarter of all imports and exports at the Port of Hueneme, and last year totaled $4.99 billion for imports, and $228.07 million for exports. This creates hundreds of good paying jobs with an average salary of $73,000.

“Partnerships like the one between VCTC and the Port of Hueneme help to create a better Ventura County,” said Martin Erickson, Ventura County Transportation Commission Executive Director. “The Port of Hueneme has a significant impact on our community – both economically and environmentally – which is why projects like shoreside power are so important to move forward.”

Being the recipient of federal, state, regional, and local grants has been instrumental in allowing the Port to reduce carbon emissions on the Port and in the surrounding communities.

Brian MacDonald, VCTC Vice Chair and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Oxnard, said that he is proud that VCTC was able to award a $10.4 million grant to the Port of Hueneme.

“This is huge for this area of Oxnard and Port Hueneme, because when these ships come into Port and are sitting at the berth, if they don’t have a power source, they run their onboard powerplants. Now, they can come in, shut down their machinery, plug in, and be fully self-sufficient.”

Len Mazzella, General Manager of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Services, said: “As WW Group, we have very bold zero emission goals for our vessels and cargo handling equipment and we have made an investment in battery operated forklifts which we will receive next year.”

WW Group operates the largest, capable car-carrying vessel fleet in the world. Thirty years ago, they invested in Oxnard, CA – standing their first-ever state of the art auto processing facility worldwide.

Ben Cacatian, Air Quality Specialist for the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District said: “I would like to thank the Ventura County Transportation Commission, its staff, and its subcommittees for joining the Air District in supporting this important funding for the North Terminal Shore Power grid.”

“This funding is a big step forward in helping the Port achieve our goal of zero emissions,” said Kristin Decas, Port of Hueneme CEO and Port Director. “Last year our commissioners unanimously approved a resolution committing the Port to a ZE future, and the shoreside power project plays a significant part in that plan’s success.”