A Port of Houston Authority public-private partnership announced October 19 could dramatically reduce pollution from multi-modal sources while producing thousands of jobs in the manufacturing, maritime and railroad industries in Texas, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The Marine and Locomotive Advanced Powertrain Technology Project aims to ‘leap-frog’ the current EPA Tier 2 emission standard to a Tier 4 NOx-compliant diesel engine for marine vessels and locomotives years ahead of the Environmental Protection Agency’s mandated schedule. The project will have far-reaching benefits for the region, state and nation, as well as for Canada and Mexico.
The partners include the Port of Houston Authority, General Electric Transportation, FEV, Inc., a global engineering services leader, the Houston Advanced Research Center, the Texas Department of Transportation, Bay-Houston Towing Co. and the Port Terminal Railroad Association. It is a ground-breaking project that illustrates the Port of Houston Authority’s commitment to stewardship and exemplifies Texas’ success with incentive programs that protect the environment and stimulate economic development.
Among those speaking at the event at the Sam Houston Pavilion were Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee; Port Commission Chairman James T. Edmonds; Alec G. Dreyer, CEO, Port of Houston Authority; John Rice, vice chairman, GE, and Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO, GE Transportation. Also in attendance was Port Commissioner Steve Phelps. Congressman Gene Green met with the GE and Port Authority executives before the event and reiterated his wholehearted support for the partnership.
Congresswoman Jackson Lee said: “Perhaps the most attractive part of this project, particularly for me as a lawmaker – is that it is being undertaken voluntarily. It is an excellent example of private industry raising the bar for itself – getting ahead of government standards – with an incentives-based program emphasizing environmental stewardship, as well as compliance.”
“This project is another example of the Port Authority’s leadership in using new technology to reduce environmental risks,” said Edmonds. “It underlines our commitment to setting and maintaining a world-class standard of excellence in environmental stewardship and sustainability.”
Rice said: “GE has been at the forefront of technology innovation for the past 130 years. We are proud to partner with the Port of Houston Authority and leaders in government to bring cleaner diesel technology to the Port of Houston and our communities across the United States. GE’s technology is poised to produce cleaner air and potentially thousands of U.S. jobs.”
“GE is ready to deliver fuel-efficient, low-emissions diesel technology for rail and marine applications to meet the EPA’s stringent Tier 4 emission standards years ahead of schedule to the Port of Houston,” Simonelli said. “The future is arriving early in Houston.” Dreyer said: “Given the complex nature of our region – a tropical climate coupled with a robust chemical industry and the nation’s fourth largest metropolis – air quality is always going to be a regional issue. But the technology we will unveil today, coupled with the strategies we intend to implement will give us some powerful tools in addressing that issue.”