Ports of Auckland looks to electricity to power growth

Ports of Auckland uses electricity to power growth

The Ports of Auckland is pursuing several environmentally friendly initiatives as part of a wider project to double its container handling capacity.

Following the purchase of the world’s first electric tugboat Ports of Auckland will look to increase its fleet in four years’ time as its traffic increases.

“We are trialling hydrogen, with a view to using it in container handling equipment in future, trialling renewable diesel in our tugs and port machinery and we are looking at the feasibility of cold ironing for cruise and container ships in the medium term,” Matt Ball, Head of Communications, Port of Auckland said.

The Port will receive the electric ship-handling tugboat in 2021 from maritime equipment manufacturer Damen, having placed the order earlier in December 2020.

In doing so it has joined the growing number of maritime hubs looking to electricity-powered technology to meet the demands of business and the environment.

Capable of handling 70 tonnes, the RSD-E Tug 2513 is one of Damen’s latest environmentally friendly innovation.

Damen has also signed a contract for the delivery of nine hybrid and fully electric ferries to operate in the Port of Rotterdam, proof of the popularity of fully electric port equipment and a growing belief it can also make operations more efficient.

The Port of Auckland is looking to cut emissions across its operations and implement more automated technology to meet future demand and environmental targets.

To this end it has partnered with regional council organisations to trial hydrogen vehicles. According to Ball, it is also working with local authorities on other sustainability targets.

These initiatives are all part of its wider 30-year project, launched in 2017, to improve its container handling capacity by deepening the shipping channel and automating much of its container handling operations.

One such project was to become the first container hub in New Zealand to use automated straddle carriers and it has worked with container handling equipment specialist Konecranes to achieve this goal.

In November 2020 it celebrated the success of the first phase of its automation project, which began in June 2020 and serviced its first containership in September 2020.

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