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Water Witch fights ocean plastic pollution with electric clean-up boats

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Water Witch fights ocean plastic pollution with electric clean-up boats. Image: Torqeedo GmbH
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Water Witch has been building specialised clean-up boats for over 50 years, with some 200 debris and trash retrieval workboats deployed in harbours and waterways around the world. More than just an eyesore, it’s estimated that 300 million tons of plastic have entered the water since the 1940s, harming marine life and damaging ecosystems on which humans rely. Harbours are often the last opportunity to intercept plastic before it enters the ocean, where it is much more difficult to remove.

The Liverpool-based boatbuilder has announced that Torqeedo electric power is now offered as a replacement for the standard four-cycle outboards on its whole range of Versi-Cat litter collection craft and pontoon workboats. “This is a clean, green, safe, zero-emission solution with long life, low maintenance and minimal operating costs,” said Water Witch director Jackie Caddick.

THE RESPONSE FROM CUSTOMERS, ACCORDING TO THE COMPANY, HAS BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE.

“From high-end marinas to commercial harbours and even hydro-electric dams, the environmental benefits of a completely zero-emission solution have really sparked interest,” said Caddick. “In fact, many of our owners are also enquiring about converting their existing vessels to an all-electric drive. Retrofitting is very easy, basically just a straight swap. It’s a very cost-efficient option, and backed by the support of Torqeedo’s extensive worldwide warranty and after-sales support.”

This year, Water Witch is introducing a new, larger 8.0-meter boat to its Versi-Cat series with Torqeedo electric power as standard fit. The new model has a more traditional hull shape, which is designed to improve transit speeds to 10-11 knots using the same propulsion and provide better seaworthiness for operating in coastal waters. The new design also offers a more varied range of functions, including oil spill response. “We have been impressed with the reliability and advanced technology of the latest Torqeedo electric mobility range,” Caddick said. “We are passionate about the environment, and we see this technology as a critical step towards being carbon-neutral in our efforts to keep plastic pollution from entering our oceans and landing on our beaches.”

“The main advantage of working with Torqeedo is, as a builder and vessel designer, we benefit from the engineering and technological developments put into the products, their highly efficient performance and reliability, and most importantly a cost-effective option for electric drive,” she added. “And the support available for professional installers is very impressive.”

Caddick believes that electric mobility will be the wave of the future for their specialised vessels. “Clients are increasingly looking towards green technology to support their water and waste management services, reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and create a better environment for their own stakeholders. We believe our fully electric solutions meet all these goals.”

“It just makes good sense that a boat working to clean up pollution should not add to the problem by causing pollution in the water or through emissions.”

Environment

Nikola receives landmark order of 2,500 battery-electric waste trucks from Republic Services

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Nikola receives landmark order of 2,500 battery-electric waste trucks from Republic Services. Image: Nikola Corporation
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Nikola Corporation a global leader in zero-emission and infrastructure solutions, announces a minimum order of 2,500 electrified refuse trucks from Republic Services, expandable up to 5,000. This order is to begin full production deliveries in 2023 with on-road testing likely to begin in early 2022. The refuse trucks are anticipated to carry up to an industry-leading 720kWh of energy storage.

“Nikola specializes in heavy-duty, zero-emission Class 8 trucks. The refuse market is one of the most stable markets in the industry and provides long-term shareholder value,” said Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton. “The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle. By sharing the Tre platform, we can drive the cost down for both programs by using the same parts. You couldn’t pick a better partner than Republic Services, a leader in long-term environmental sustainability and customer service. Republic Services will help us ensure the Nikola Tre meets customer and fleet lifecycle demands and we are excited to have them participate in the design process.”

Republic Services is the second largest recycling and solid waste provider in the U.S. and is recognized as an industry leader in providing environmentally responsible, sustainable solutions to its customers.

“This is a game changer,” said Nikola CEO, Mark Russell. “Refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck OEMs and bodies from other suppliers. Nikola has fully integrated the chassis and body, covering both with a single factory warranty. Trucks will include both automated side loaders and front-end loaders — all of which will be zero-emission.”

The powertrain software will be limited to 1,000 HP and is expected to outperform current diesel and natural gas competitors. The new platform can give refuse trucks nearly three-times the HP of natural gas and diesel options, giving operators the ability to go up hills with full loads without issue — a challenge natural gas vehicle manufacturers have been working to solve.

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World’s first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles

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World's first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles. Image: Port of Los Angeles
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The world’s first zero-emissions top handlers, unveiled last fall as part of a pre-commercial demonstration project at the Port of Los Angeles, are now being used in daily operations at the Everport Container Terminal.

“We are pleased with performance results that we are receiving from drivers, mechanics and Everport management as the equipment is tested daily in real-world conditions,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.  “We are doing everything possible to advance commercially feasible solutions to meet our goal of transitioning all cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030.”

The two battery-electric top handlers were designed and built in the U.S. by Taylor Machine Works, Inc. a leading heavy-duty equipment manufacturer and the largest supplier of top handlers in service at the Port. Also known as top picks, top handlers are off-road vehicles with an overhead boom for loading containers weighing up to 100,000 pounds onto trucks and trains, unloading them, and stacking them on terminals between pickups and deliveries.

The top handlers run on a one-megawatt battery designed to operate for up to 18 hours between charges. Each top handler has a data logger for tracking hours of operation, charging frequency, energy usage and other performance indicators. Additionally, drivers and mechanics are providing input on the maneuverability, noise level and safety of the equipment.

The battery-electric top handlers are a key component of the Port’s $7.7 million Everport Advanced Cargo-Handling Demonstration Project. The California Energy Commission is supporting the large-scale zero-emissions technology project with a $4.5 million sustainability grant.

The Everport demonstration is one of 16 projects in which the Port is either the lead agency or a participant working with multiple partners to test near-zero emissions and zero-emissions engines, emissions control technology, and alternative fueling and charging stations. In addition to the battery-electric top handlers, the projects include testing ultra-low NOx renewable natural gas equipment and fully battery-electric fuel cell heavy-duty trucks; battery-electric forklifts, yard tractors, and rubber-tired gantry cranes; and emissions control equipment on large ships and harbor craft.

Eliminating tailpipe emissions from cargo-handling equipment is essential to achieving the Port’s larger goal of reducing greenhouse gases from all port-related sources. Port targets call for reducing GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs in the five-county Southern California region.

 

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Container Shipping Lines

Evergreen joins the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative

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Evergreen joins the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative. Image: Wikimedia/ Alpsdake
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Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan) Ltd. has become a signatory to the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative in order to share its aged vessels’ green recycling policy. The move is part of Evergreen’s avowed commitment to plan a completely sustainable life cycle for its vessels from design, construction, operation and ultimately to decommissioning.

The SRTI, hosted by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, is an online platform via which members report information on their ship recycling policies and activities against a set of predefined disclosure criteria.

In the interest of transparency, Evergreen and other participating shipowners can share their approach to this critical component of environmental and socially responsible ship operations. Cargo owners and financial stakeholders, in turn will have access to this information in order to make their own informed decisions.

In announcing its decision to join SRTI, Evergreen said “We have had a long-standing commitment to ‘Clean Oceans’. Embodied in this goal is a mission to ensure responsible and sustainable operations wherever they touch the environment, whether at sea or on land, and to care for the people we employ and the communities we serve.”

When planning its current fleet renewal strategy therefore, Evergreen not only requires strict recycling standards for those vessels being disposed of, but also incorporates state-of-the-art design into its newbuildings so as to minimize the impact of container shipping operations both on marine life, on port communities and on humanity worldwide.

In this regard Evergreen invests in measures that go beyond environmental regulations, for instance, the new 12,000-TEU class F-type vessels, of which the 1st in the series is already in service network since March of this year, are equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction reactor system.

Such technology ensures that the vessels meet MARPOL nitrogen oxide emission Tier III standards, which is above the current Tier II requirements. In addition, Evergreen voluntarily ensure that all newbuildings and the ships already in service, no matter on which service trade they will be deployed, will be provided an Inventory of Hazardous Materials Part 1 for Class approval and SoC for certification.

Such consideration of the environmental impact of a vessel’s operation throughout its life-cycle is the driving force behind the latest SRTI move. “When a vessel is decommissioned and recycling is planned, not only can valuable and reusable resources be recovered but potentially dangerous waste and pollutants must be processed properly.” Evergreen goes on to say. “Recycling operations with the highest standards of safety available must be utilized. “We are therefore pleased to share our recycling policies by joining SRTI and helping lead a growing industry initiative to demand more responsible ship recycling in the future.”

In a statement welcoming Evergreen, Andrew Stephens, Executive Director of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative said, “Evergreen Marine joins a growing SRTI family that includes like-minded shipowners who are holding themselves to account before key stakeholders, including clients, investors and the wider public. This includes an increasingly diverse range of stakeholders engaging on the topics of data and transparency, circularity, and the role of financial stakeholders in sustainable and responsible ship recycling in the absence of global regulation.”

True to both its name and the corporate philosophy established by group founder and chairman Dr. Y.F. Chang, Evergreen recognizes its ecological obligations and will continue to maintain the best possible care in sustaining an ‘ever green’ global environment.

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