STAX Engineering Granted First California Air Resources Board Executive Order for Auto Carrier Vessels


STAX is now the only emissions capture and control operator authorized to service two major vessel classes at all California ports

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — STAX Engineering, a leader in maritime emissions capture and control, received the first California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order for emissions capture and control services on auto carrier (ro-ro) vessels. STAX, a CARB grantee, is the only operator authorized to service two of the most common maritime vessel classes: container vessels and auto carriers in California. STAX will begin servicing ro-ros at the Ports of Benicia, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland immediately.

Auto carriers make up roughly 6% of maritime shipments across California ports; hundreds of thousands of vehicles are shuttled in and out of the state each year. In May 2023, STAX Engineering began the rigorous assessment and approval process to operate its services on ro-ros in accordance with CARB’s Control Measure for Ocean-Going Vessels At Berth (2020 At Berth Regulation). After providing the requisite emissions data and supporting information, STAX officially proved ideal operating conditions for ro-ro vessels and was granted the first service EO for the vessel class.


“Auto-carrier vessels represent an important piece of the at-berth emissions puzzle in California and around the world,” said STAX Engineering CEO, Mike Walker. “This new Executive Order means that we can help our partners tackle ro-ro-born emissions head on and move them closer to their larger emissions reduction targets. We look forward to doing good work in this vessel class.”

This order follows the announcement of STAX’s first multi-port operations at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland. STAX is rapidly expanding to additional ports across the state and is on track to treat more than 1,000 tons of shipping emissions per year by 2025.

Shipping is one of the world’s most significant contributors of pollutants and other harmful emissions. To combat this, CARB, the standard bearer for air quality regulation in the US, implemented new rules mandating that ocean-going vessels in California must connect to shore power when at-berth or retrofit vessels to avoid auxiliary engine and auxiliary boiler exhaust. Many in-service ocean-going vessels are not built in compliance with the new mandates; retrofitting costs hover around $2 million per vessel in addition to associated utility costs.

As an accessible and immediately viable alternative, STAX offers land- and barge-based, mobile emissions capture and control technology to shipping terminal and fleet operators for a nominal hourly fee. STAX attaches to at-berth vessels through its patented, flexible exhaust capture system designed to accommodate all ships without modification—even in the most congested ports. Once exhaust is captured and funneled into the STAX system, it is filtered. STAX removes 99% of particulate matter (PM) and 95% of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) before being released as purified gas. To date, STAX has treated 55 at-berth vessels for a cumulative of 3,150 hours and 22.1 tons of pollutants controlled—and counting.

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