By introducing the new technology, which reduces fuel consumption by an estimated 95 percent, the GPA also becomes the first in North America to install this cleaner and more efficient method of operation.
The new ERTG system was developed with the help of partners Konecranes, Conductix-Wampfler and Georgia Power, which provided the cranes, the new power system and the electrical infrastructure, respectively.
“This transition to electrified RTGs is an important milestone for the GPA and our industry,” said GPA executive director, Curtis Foltz.
“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.”
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. When complete, the ERTG fleet will allow the 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, even after the purchase of electricity is factored in.