Officials from Konecranes and the Georgia Ports Authority commemorated the 1,000th rubber-tired gantry crane produced by the company, and completion of the latest phase of GPA’s electric RTG infrastructure.
At an event commemorating the 1,000th rubber-tired gantry crane produced by Konecranes, the Georgia Ports Authority announced the completion of the latest phase of its electric RTG infrastructure. The eRTGs use 95% less diesel than standard RTGs, saving on fuel costs and emissions.
“We’re excited to expand on our eRTG program, the first of its kind at a North American port,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “As part of a decade-long initiative promoting sustainable operations, this technology further establishes GPA’s role as an environmental leader in the logistics industry.”
Electric RTGs use up to 95% less diesel fuel than conventional RTGs. GPA is in the process of electrifying its entire fleet, which will number 170 RTGs by 2026. With the completion of Phase 3, 45 out of the current 146 RTGs have been transitioned from diesel to electric power or purchased with electric power capability. The eRTGs currently in operation allow the GPA to avoid the use of approximately 700,000 gallons of diesel per year, for a savings of $2.2 million.
Once the entire fleet is converted, the Authority will see annual savings of approximately 3 million gallons of diesel. At full build-out the system will lower fuel and maintenance costs by $11 million annually, even after factoring in the purchase of electricity.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency highlighted the GPA as “a leading advocate of environmental stewardship,” and granted the Authority its 2016 Clean Air Technology Award. The GPA was one of only six individuals or organisations across the country to receive such recognition.
“I appreciate how the GPA has worked closely with us to constantly improve our crane design,” said Konecranes Sales and Marketing Director Tuomas Saastamoinen, noting the company delivered its first RTG to the Port of Savannah in 1995. “It is wonderful to have delivered our 1000th RTG to the GPA in 2016.”
GPA implemented its electric rubber tired gantry crane program in 2012 as part of a consistent effort to reduce emissions at Garden City Terminal.
“The GPA’s commitment to sustainable practices is not only good for the environment and quality of life, it’s good for business,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood.
In other projects, the GPA has installed 104 refrigerated container racks – more than any other US terminal – to transition those containers from diesel generators to electricity. Through efforts such as this and electrifying ship-to-shore cranes, the Port of Savannah avoids the use of more than 7.5 million gallons of diesel annually.
In the area of water quality, the authority preserves 300 acres of natural wetlands in Brunswick, and has established 14 acres of wetlands at the Port of Savannah for its natural filtering capability. The man-made wetlands on Garden City Terminal treat 100 million gallons of storm water annually, protecting the Savannah River.
The GPA also protects and maintains dozens of old growth oak trees in Savannah and Brunswick. Garden City Terminal features about a dozen trees that are more than 200 years old, two of which arborists estimate are more than 365 years old.