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Felixstowe: Port to cut emissions with arrival of electric-powered cranes

06:00 21 June 2014

The Port of Felixstowe has invested in four electric-powered Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) to improve both its operational and environmental efficiency.

The Port of Felixstowe has invested in four electric-powered Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) to improve both its operational and environmental efficiency.


Electric cranes have been installed on the quayside of Britain’s biggest container port as part of work to cut carbon emissions.


The Port of Felixstowe, a member of the EADT/EDP Top 100, said the arrival of the four electric-powered Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) was another step to improve both its operational and environmental efficiency.

It is estimated that each machine will deliver energy savings of at least 45% compared with conventional diesel machines, with a similar reduction in carbon emissions, and contribute to improving air quality in and around the port.

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs at port owners Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, said: “The Port of Felixstowe is fully committed to providing the highest levels of operational performance whilst at the same time reducing the impact of its operations on the environment.

“This pilot project to electrify four RTGs will help us achieve both objectives.

“The greener machines are the latest in a programme of measures which has seen carbon emissions at the port cut by 12% since 2007, keeping us on course to achieving a target reduction of 30% by 2017.”

The RTGs, originally manufactured by ZPMC in Shanghai, have been converted from diesel to electric primary drive in the first project of its kind in western Europe. The work was undertaken by Kalmar, part of the Cargotec group.

The conversion involved installing electrical infrastructure along the full 217 metre length of two of the port’s RTG container storage blocks.

The cranes were modified to install an automatic drive-in collector unit to connect to the electric supply as well as fitting new operator controls and a conductor bar system to supply power to the electric motors.

They have also been fitted with an auto-steer function, a system which reduces the demand on the driver, minimizing fatigue and allowing them to focus on the efficient movement of containers.



  • Cold harbouring would also be a step in the right direction, although it would probably require an EU wide directive before commitment to this scale of change.

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    John Shirley

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

  • The move to more energy efficient and cost saving equipment is welcome, but the CO2 reduction claim needs examining. Firstly, electrical power comes from mainly fossil fuelled CO2 producing sources, so CO2 is emitted anyway. Secondly, with no global warming for the past eighteen years and atmospheric CO2 rising during that time, CO2 reduction will achieve no beneficial effect whatsoever. It really is time to stop conflating routine business improvements of this kind, with some idealised green goal of 'saving the planet'.

    Report this comment

    Steven Whalley

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

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