Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Green Terminal Design


With a busbar system, power is supplied by a low electrified fence that provides the physical contact. Photo courtesy of the Georgia Ports Authority.

Many cargo handling equipment manufacturers have already moved to electrification in order to reduce emissions, but there are other ways to make cargo-handling equipment and terminals more cost-effective and energy-efficient, including the use of hybrid systems, stormwater treatment and truck modernization.

In 2013, Konecranes Inc. introduced the world's first hybrid reach stacker. With a lifting capacity of 45 tons, the SMV 4531 TB5 HLT features a hybrid diesel/electric driveline, an electrified hydraulic lifting system, and a super capacitor-based energy storage system. Propulsion and lifting are powered by dedicated electric motors that can all operate in regenerative mode.

In 2014, Konecranes announced the new model had been fully tested at the Port of Helsingborg on the southwest coast of Sweden and demonstrated a saving on fuel consumption of between 30 and 50 percent during normal handling of fully-loaded containers, compared to conventional reach stackers.

Additionally, the company's electrified rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) have been well received. For instance, the Georgia Port Authority was the first port authority in North America to begin using four electric RTGs in 2012, which have reduced diesel fuel consumption by 95 percent. When moving from stack to stack, the cranes switch to auxiliary diesel generators.

Konecranes also offers RTG electrification retrofit systems including a cable reel system consisting of a feeding cable and a transformer, feeding electricity from the power grid to the crane. The feed point can be at one end of the container stack or at the center of the stack. A fixed or portable auxiliary diesel generator is used to move the RTG between stacks. When the RTG is in its new position, the electrical power is reconnected.

Another electrification option is to use a busbar system to convert the RTG to fully electric operation. The power is supplied by a low electrified fence that provides the physical contact. RTG operation is quiet and there are no diesel emissions. Since there is no refueling, the RTG spends more time shifting containers and its availability increases.

When it comes to dealing with larger vessels, Jussi Suhonen, Sales Director, Konecranes/Port Cranes, Region Americas, says electrification goes a long way to keeping goods movement efficient. "With an electrical feed on the cranes, considerable savings are achieved during idling time," he says. "Hybrid technologies will develop quickly and dominate in the future for cargo handling equipment."

Switzerland-based Liebherr offers a diverse selection of maritime cranes that run with the latest energy-efficiency technologies and safety measures. Their Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes are designed using a lattice main boom and beam and built using high tensile structural steel. Because the crane is lighter and has a lower center of gravity, it allows for lower wheel loads and less intensive civil engineering works on the quay. Power regeneration and custom-designed Liebherr drives reduce the power requirements of a crane, ensuring less power is used per cycle.

The use of features such as anti-sway and anti-snag systems, overload protection, safety systems such as anti-collision and automatic slowdown systems, 3D scanning, vessel profiling, truck trailer positioning systems and automation, amongst others, allow for improved safety and increased productivity.

Liebherr offers different drives for its mobile Harbor cranes (MHC); for instance the e-Drive can either be installed instead of or in addition to a diesel engine. Energy is supplied via a cable from the main network, which allows for zero exhaust emission crane operation. Nearly 30 percent of the company's 2014 MHCs deliveries were equipped with e-Drives.

Additionally, the fuel-saving ECO Control tool, when activated, uses a crane control system that automatically calculates the minimum required RPMs of the diesel or electric motor, depending on speeds and loads. Variable speed control results in fuel savings of up to 25 percent.

Liebherr has also developed a tool for safe and efficient tandem lifts. This system allows two Liebherr Mobile Harbor Cranes to be operated simultaneously by one crane operator for improved speed, efficiency and safety. Moreover, no down ratings regarding capacity are necessary, thus both cranes can be utilized at maximum lifting capacity.

Of particular note is the company's hybrid drive (developed in 2010) which provides low-emission, high performance output. By adding an accumulator as a secondary energy source instead of a bigger or additional prime mover, the system regenerates the reverse power while lowering the load. The surplus power of the primary energy source is also used for charging the accumulator. The stored energy is transferred back to the system when the crane requires peak power during hoisting. In terms of turnover capacity, it provides an increase of 30 percent compared to a conventional machine with equal power rating of the primary energy source. The system leads to a reduction of fuel/energy consumption (liter/ton) as well as CO2 and exhaust emissions in the range of 30 percent, depending on the operation. This system is virtually maintenance-free as it only needs visual inspection every 10 years.

In terms of working with mega-sized vessels, Liebherr has already adapted. With the possibility of ships with a capacity of 24,000 TEU, the vessels will likely have a beam of 62 meters and a length of up to 430 meters. Liebherr's STS cranes have an outreach greater than 70 meters.

Additionally, Liebherr mobile Harbor cranes can be ordered with an additional tower extension of either 4.8 or 12 meters. The LHM 600 is equipped with the 12-meter extension and is capable of servicing vessels up to 19 container rows wide and nine container stacks high. The extra tower extension further ensures that the position of the tower cabin is higher than 37 meters enabling better sight for the crane driver and a higher fulcrum point, which eases the handling of bigger vessels.

west coast ports are also building on their green initiatives. The port of seattle aims to be the cleanest, greenest and most energy-efficient port in North America, according to Stephanie Jones Stebbins, Seaport Director of Environmental and Planning. The Port recently released its strategic plan for the next 25 years, the Century Agenda, which includes ambitious environmental goals, for instance, restoring, creating and enhancing 40 additional acres of habitat in the Duwamish Watershed that will more than double the amount of habitat the Port has created.

Carbon emissions from Port operations are earmarked to be reduced by 50 percent while building on the initiative to meet increased energy needs through conservation and renewable sources.

Additionally, new targets have recently been added to the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy (this partnership which began in 2008, comprises the ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, BC). The port of seattle aims to reduce diesel emissions by 80 percent per unit of cargo by 2020, and Greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent per unit of cargo by 2020. The three ports together have jointly set those goals.

Stringent truck emission standards are also in place at each of the three ports. Truckers can only run models newer than 1994, and by 2018, those will have to be newer than 2007. To help truckers who are identified as registered to work with the port of seattle, the Port has provided funding and has secured federal government grants for the purpose of purchasing new trucks and scrapping the old.

Funds of up to $30,000 per trucker have been made available. "We've scrapped 94 trucks and we have another 63 trucks that are pre-approved for scrapping," says Jones Stebbins. "And we currently have grants for about 52 more trucks. We hope to have grants for more in place soon as well."

On the cruise industry side of green operations, the Port has entered into a voluntary MOU with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Participating vessel owners have agreed not to discharge at all in Puget Sound unless they have an advanced wastewater treatment system. "Even with the use of those systems, none of the cruise lines that call here have discharged in Puget Sound for the last two cruise seasons. So the cruise lines have been stellar environmental performers here in the Puget Sound area," says Jones Stebbins.

Washington State also has stringent stormwater handling standards in place in order to reduce the amount of pollutants that end up in Puget Sound. To combat this, the port of seattle is using catch basins with crushed oyster shells that absorb the dissolved metals, thereby preventing the toxins from getting into the Sound and wreaking havoc on fish like salmon.

"All of our terminals have analyzed the stormwater coming off their sites and have designed a sophisticated approach to reducing the amount of copper and zinc in the run-off," says Jones Stebbins. "And the work that is being done is at the forefront of storm water work being done anywhere."

As part of its Maritime Air Quality Improvement Program (MAQIP), the Port of Oakland has been working with its truckers (of the 5,500 unique trucks registered in the Port's database, between 2,000 and 3,000 trucks are frequent visitors) to reduce the soot from trucks by providing the opportunity to retrofit trucks with diesel particulate filters. The Port's MAQIP came about after consultation with the Bay Area Quality Management District, the State of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the US EPA in 2005, and the Port has been building on it ever since.

The MAQIP program addresses emissions from maritime mobile traffic, including ships, trucks and cargo handling equipment. In 2008, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners adopted a policy objective to reduce overall Port maritime diesel emissions by 85 percent by the year 2020. In 2009, the Port of Oakland completed the planning process and started implementing the first part of the plan, which focused on drayage trucks.

"We have designed and implemented many projects to reduce diesel emissions from the truck fleet at the Port," says Richard Sinkoff, the Port's Director of Environmental Programs and Planning. "The bulk of the program during the last couple of years has been to provide grants to install diesel particulate filters on many of these trucks and also to replace the oldest trucks in the fleet. This is the most cost-effective way of reducing truck emissions and allows the truckers to comply with State regulations for a number of years while reducing emissions."

Regarding shore power, the Port completed its construction of facilities at the end of 2013 to comply with State of California regulations. "That involved running electrical systems on the wharf-face and developing a compatible electrical system that would work on ships," says Sinkoff. "The shipowners also had to invest millions of dollars to ready their ships."

The Port carried out an emissions inventory in 2014 before shore power was in place and noted a significant reduction in emissions due to the use of low sulfur fuel being used by approaching vessels as required by the State of California. In 2016, another inventory will be taken which Sinkoff indicates should reveal even further reductions when both the shore power and truck replacement and filter retrofit program are combined.

Sinkoff hopes the Port of Oakland will be a strong influence for other west coast ports as well as those across the nation, to adopt shore power. Even though shore power is currently required only by the State of California, the move to greener ships will eventually mean the lines will expect those facilities wherever they berth in the United States and around the globe.

Looking ahead to energy needs of the future, the Port has been working on its Port Energy Innovation Study; the first steps of information-gathering that will provide baseline information to the Port on its future energy needs, what sources it will come from, for instance, diversity of fuels, renewables and further electrification.

The Port's energy study anticipates the State of California's sustainable freight goods movement strategy. "We need to understand our energy requirements as we grow and what our options will be to procure the energy in a cost-effective way for our tenants and Port operations and in a manner that continues to promote healthy communities," Sinkoff adds. "It's about growing the Port's business in a sustainable way. That's what the energy innovation study is all about."

The first phase of the Port of Long Beach's Middle Harbor project will be completed this summer (construction began in 2011), making it the "greenest terminal" in North America, according to spokesperson Lee Peterson.

Later this year, the tenant – Long Beach Container Terminal – will start cargo operations on the north half of the terminal. The vision for the terminal is to aim for zero emissions. Due for final completion in 2019, the terminal is equipped with electric-powered rail-mounted gantry cranes, or stacking cranes, and a fleet of zero-emission or near-zero emissions yard equipment.

The terminal will improve efficiency by going from 10,000 linear feet of on-dock rail track to 75,000 feet. All the buildings on the terminal of more than 7,500 square feet will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified for their power-saving, water-saving, and recycled materials features.

The Port's Green Port Policy, adopted in 2005 has, and continues to, make leaps in environmental sustainability by reducing diesel particulate emissions by 82 percent and sulfur oxides by 90 percent. Additionally, Greenhouse gases have been cut by 20 percent.

All this has taken place even as the cargo flow has been the same. Water quality has been vastly improved, with thriving kelp beds and marine life in the Harbor. Every major building the Port erects must be LEED certified, and all construction managers work to certify that demolition materials are recycled, and if possible, reused right in the Port for new construction.

On the air quality side, the Port's Clean Trucks Program has been responsible for cutting 90 percent of the diesel exhaust from the truck fleet, by requiring the use of 2007-or-newer trucks for drayage. Additionally, the Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program rewards shipping lines for slowing down within 20 nautical miles or 40 nautical miles of the Port. This program eliminates tons of pollution every year and has a 98 percent participation rate.

The 13,400-TEU MSC Corte Real visits Pier J in the Port of Long Beach, which has several berths able to accommodate 14,000-TEU container ships – the largest in the trans-Pacific trade. Photo courtesy of the Port of Long Beach.

Under the Port's Water Resources Action Plan, best practices for the Port and its tenants are outlined in detail to prevent stormwater runoff and other causes of water pollution in the Harbor. And a unique project is currently under development that would see ships that can't plug into shore power, for example, a barge, utilize a kind of vacuum cleaner-like device that would plug into the ship's exhaust and use the barge's filters to cleanse the exhaust to remove nearly all the air pollution.

The Port's Energy Island initiative, unveiled at the State of the Port address in January by Chief Executive Jon Slangerup, is a concept that will be developed as a plan to build the Port's energy independence and resilience by using wind, solar, and wave power to help satisfy the growing demand for electricity at the Port. "Our Port of the Future will be a zero emissions port, so we are continually testing and evaluating the newest technologies that will help us get there," he says.


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