zoom A new incentive program has been approved by the Board of Long Beach Harbor Commissioners aimed at rewarding shipping lines for taking part in testing of new air pollution-control technology for vessels.The first to benefit from the new incentive will be vessel operators that are participating in the Port of Long Beach demonstration of a barge-mounted emissions-capture system for ships at berth.By waiving the parking or “dockage” fee, the new incentive program is designed to encourage vessel operators to participate in the testing of this barge-mounted system and other similar technology.An estimated 40 vessel calls each year will be eligible for this incentive over the next two years. In addition to the incentive, the port’s Technology Advancement Program provides funding for inventors to test their clean-air technology.“This incentive will allow more ships to participate in these important demonstration projects, so we are very happy to offer it. As the Green Port, the Port of Long Beach is committed to being a leader in air pollution reduction and elimination. We’ve made great strides in that area, but we’re far from finished,” said Harbor Commission President Doug Drummond.Shore power, which reduces air pollution by allowing docked ships to shut down shipboard engines and plug in for clean power, is installed at all of the port’s container shipping terminals. But there is also a need for at-berth emissions control when shore power is not feasible, according to the port authority.Currently, the barge-based “Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System” or AMECS is undergoing testing at the port.The AMECS uses a 115-foot-high tower mounted on a barge to connect to a ship and vacuum up emissions. The gases are sent through filters and scrubbers remove pollutants.According to the port, the system is seeking approval from state regulators to qualify as an alternative to shore power for container ships and will also be tested on other types of cargo ships.