APM Converts Cranes to Cut Costs, Pollution

APM Converts Cranes to Cut Costs, Pollution

APM Terminals is converting more than 400 diesel driven rubber-tired gantry cranes across its global network of container terminals and inland depots to combined diesel-electric power to cut costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The move will cut maintenance and repair costs an estimated 30 percent and reduce fuel costs up to 70 percent, the port terminal unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk said.

The dual powered RTGs will emit between 60 percent and 80 percent less CO2 compared with conventional diesel power units, cutting overall terminal CO2 emissions 20 percent for every 20 foot container handled.

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The retrofitting of the majority of APM's 400 RTGs will eliminate 70,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The new diesel-electric power supply will utilize a busbar -- a rail providing access to electrical power.

"Early RTG electrification systems restricted operational flexibility, as the machines were either stuck permanently to the busbar, or operated with a long coil of electrical cable to its side. Someone had to plug the machines, unplug them and then plug them in again between moves," said APM Terminals head of Design and Operations for New Terminals Ross Clarke.

Following recent technological developments, RTGs can now be connected and unconnected automatically from the busbar through the use of a retractable connector arm attached to the RTG.

This allows the RTG power to switch between the diesel engine and electricity from the busbar automatically and without interruption.

The conversion program, which will begin in the Asia-Pacific region, will take approximately two years to complete.

The dual power system will be used in the development and construction of new terminals and will be implemented in the design of the new APM Moin Container Terminal in Costa Rica scheduled to open in 2016.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.