Oakland goes hybrid to ‘green’ terminal ops

The retrofit is forecast to cut over 45 tonnes of exhaust emissions each year at the Port of Oakland Photo: Christopher/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0 The retrofit is forecast to cut over 45 tonnes of exhaust emissions each year at the Port of Oakland Photo: Christopher/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

In the US, SSA Marine is to retrofit 13 of the Californian Port of Oakland’s diesel-powered cranes with diesel-electric hybrid engines.

The rubber-tyred gantry crane upgrade, which is estimated to cost over $6m, is forecast to cut over 45 tonnes of exhaust emissions each year at the American facility.

The Port of Oakland said that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) gave the green light to a $5.1m grant for the project under the Community Health Protection Grant Program/Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program.

According to port estimates, hybrid cranes would lower some pollutants by 99% and there would be at least a 40% drop in greenhouse gas emissions from the cranes.

The 13 retrofitted hybrid cranes will mainly run on electricity, with diesel used purely for battery-charging, and will additionally regenerate battery power while lowering containers (which can weigh over 30 tonnes), the port said.

The cranes will continue to operate at SSA Marine’s Oakland International Container Terminal at the port, it also noted.

Commenting on the upgrade, Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll said: “We’re delighted that SSA is taking a lead role in curbing emissions and we’re grateful that their initiative has the support of the Air District.”

As part of the grant, SSA Marine will also evaluate the feasibility, and promote the future deployment, of zero-emission cargo handling equipment.

The port said that it could take up to two years to fully fit SSA Marine’s terminal with hybrid cranes and said that the terminal operator first needs to finalise a contract with the Air District to get the plan moving.

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