Under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant will provide $489,000 for the project.

Built in 1970, the Angelena II, which provides tours of the port in support of the port’s ongoing community relations, business development and marketing efforts, is a 73ft harbor motor craft currently powered by two 350hp diesel engines.

After reaching 300 operating hours, which is anticipated later this year, the engines will fall short of California emissions standards.

However it is expected that by switching from biodiesel to an ultra-low emission serial hybrid propulsion system Angelena II will cut fuel usage by 95% thereby reducing emissions. The retrofit is scheduled to take place between September 2010 and December 2010.

Geraldine Knatz, port executive and director of Port of Los Angeles, said: ”Harbor vessel pollution is a common problem in ports nationwide. By cutting energy usage in half and reducing fuel costs and emissions by more than 95%, we believe that hybrid propulsion systems could make a lot of sense for commercial harbor vessels here and elsewhere.”