The Port of Long Beach, CA, is teaming up with Sound Energy Solutions (SES) to launch a pilot program to test the effectiveness of yard tractors powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Port said the six-month, $600,000 project will evaluate the performance of three LNG yard jockeys at one of its marine terminals. The Port will also coordinate its efforts with a similar project at another terminal involving two other LNG yard vehicles to collect more data at less cost, while also broadening the study’s results.

“This project will allow us to determine whether there is a significant reduction in NOx and particulate emissions from this equipment, how effective LNG can be as a fuel, and how reliable the equipment powered by this fuel is,” said the Port’s executive director, Richard Steinke.

This project is also part of an effort by SES, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., to develop an LNG receiving terminal and re-gasification facility at the port by 2008 so it can provide vehicle-grade LNG in California.