Georgia Port Authority’s eRTG program earns award

Georgia Port Authority’s eRTG program earns award

The Georgia Ports Authority has received a 2016 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award for its electric rubber-tired gantry (eRTG) crane program that will transfer its container handling equipment from diesel to electric power.

In 2012, GPA began to implement the electric rubber-tired gantry crane program. By the end of August 2016, 45 will have been transitioned from diesel to electric power or purchased with electric power capability, bringing GPA’s eRTG fleet to 30% of the total.

The Georgia Ports Authority is transitioning its container-handling rubber-tired gantry cranes to electric power. By using diesel power only to move between container stacks, eRTGs cut diesel use by 95%. (Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B Morton)

This cutting-edge technology, built to a GPA design, is the first eRTG installation of its kind at a port in North America.

“The eRTG project is unique and innovative, a model others can follow with GPA’s partners to effectively work together for a common goal to reduce energy usage and diesel emissions,” said incoming GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

At a US Environmental Protection Agency awards ceremony held in Washington DC recently, Hope Moorer, general manager of waterways and navigation programs, was on hand to personally receive the award on behalf of the GPA.

“It is an honor to be recognized in this way by the EPA,” said Moorer. “The award highlights the Georgia Ports Authority’s commitment to operating its terminals in an environmentally responsible manner.”

GPA has invested more than $17.5 million to bring the 45 electric RTGs online. Over the next 10 years, the entire fleet of 169 machines will have electric power capability. This milestone project increases capacity and productivity in an environmentally responsible way, as the eRTGs use 95% less diesel fuel than conventional RTGs, with corresponding reduced diesel emissions for improved local air quality.

The GPA was one of seven groups or individuals recognized by the EPA for innovative work on clean air and climate projects. The 2016 Clean Air Excellence Awards are given to state, local, tribal, and private sector programs that educate the public in improving air quality or reducing harmful air pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions.

Project partners include Konecranes Inc, Georgia Power, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Conductix-Wampfler.

At full build-out, electric RTGs will cut diesel consumption by more than 3 million gallons per year, for a net savings of more than $9 million. The annual reduction in CO2 will be almost 70 tons by 2026.

GPA officials said the business case for the eRTG project is reinforced when combined with lower maintenance reduction costs, bringing a total expected savings to more than $11 million per year.

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