Port of L.A. to Prep Yusen Terminal for Bigger Ships

NYK Apollo at YTI Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles will begin construction this summer on a two-year project to improve the marine container terminal operated by Yusen Terminals LLC with the aim of attracting bigger ships to the terminal.

To that end, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has awarded Manson Construction Co. a USD 44.6 million contract to upgrade berths, and backlands at Berths 212-224.

“This project consists of strategic improvements to make Yusen a more agile terminal and strengthen our competitive edge,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “In addition to making the best use of Port property, it incorporates green features and practices that further our commitment to the highest environmental standards.”

Yusen, a subsidiary of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Group) and Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III, operates the 185-acre container terminal under a long-term lease with the port that extends through 2026.

The development project is part of the port’s larger capital program aimed at enhancing berth, gate and rail efficiencies at all Los Angeles marine terminals. Over the next five years, the port plans to invest more than USD 800 million in its facilities.

The project consists of upgrading wharf, and backland infrastructure within the terminal’s existing footprint to enhance Yusen’s ability to service the biggest ships in the trans-Pacific trade lanes. The improvements will allow Yusen to simultaneously work three container ships carrying up to 13,000, 11,000 and 6,500 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) respectively and ensure cargo flows during peak periods when ships call at all three berths.

To date, the largest ship that has called at Yusen is an 8,500-TEU vessel. The terminal typically receives 6,500-TEU ships and works two vessels concurrently.

The project incorporates 25 measures to mitigate environmental impacts during construction and ongoing terminal operations. They include using the cleanest construction equipment, implementing noise reduction strategies and recycling building materials for use on-site or other construction projects. Green practices include:

  • By Jan. 1, 2017, 95 percent of the ships calling at the terminal will comply with the port’s expanding Vessel Speed Reduction Program and slow to 12 knots with 40 nautical miles of Point Fermin
  • By 2026, NYK-operated ships calling at the terminal must run on shore power for 95 percent of the time they are at berth
  • Independent energy audits will be done every five years and energy-saving technology will be used wherever possible throughout the facility

Based on all design, project management and construction costs, the Port’s total investment is estimated at more than USD 67 million. This amount includes cost for an on-dock rail project which will be done under a separate contract in 2016. Additionally, Yusen estimates it could invest more than USD 60 million in support of the project.

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