The Georgia Ports Authority on Friday deployed its first four electrified rubber-tired gantry cranes (ERTG), making it the first North American port operation to introduce this cleaner and more efficient equipment.
The new technology reduces fuel consumption by an estimated 95 percent, GPA said.
“This project is the latest in a series of GPA initiatives designed to increase the productivity and capacity of the port in environmentally responsible ways,” said Curtis Foltz, the port authority's executive director, in a statement.
The new ERTGs were developed with help from Konecranes, Conductix-Wampfler and Georgia Power, which provided the cranes, the new power system and the electrical infrastructure, respectively.
Through efforts such as electrifying ship-to-shore cranes and refrigerated container racks, the Port of Savannah avoids the use of more than 5.4 million gallons of diesel annually, GPA said. The new cranes will further reduce the GPA’s fuel demand.
“Georgia Power’s partnership with the Georgia Ports Authority provides a great opportunity to further research and develop non-road electric transportation while adding value to the port’s day-to-day business,” said Murry Weaver, Georgia Power’s vice president of sales.
While relying on cleaner, shore-based power to handle containers, the ERTGs feature the ability to automatically switch to diesel generators when moving from stack to stack. All functions are controlled by the ERTG crane operator.
Foltz said long-term plans call for retrofitting the Garden City Terminal’s fleet of diesel-powered RTGs to use shore-power via retractable arms which will link to a conductor rail system, bringing the total number of ERTGs to 169 by 2022. “Repowering the RTGs will be a multi-year initiative, requiring new cranes to be ordered with electric power capabilities, and some older cranes to be retrofitted,” the port authority said.
When complete, the ERTG fleet will allow GPA to avoid the use of 5.97 million gallons of diesel each year. This will result in a net savings of nearly $10 million each year, GPA said.