Port takes delivery of first new ‘eco’ cranes

THE Port of Felixstowe has taken delivery of the first shipment of Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) from manufactuer ZPMC for its new Felixstowe South Terminal.

The-new “eco-RTGs” are the same size and have the same capabilities as the most modern equipment on the port’s Trinity Terminal, with a lift capacity of 40 tonnes and capability to span seven container stacks and to lift a container over five-high stacks.

However, the incorporation of “eco” technology will reduce emissions by an estimated 40%, with corresponding saving in fuel and noise pollution. The savings are achieved through the use of a hybrid drive system, developed by Siemens, which is based on a finely tuned variable speed diesel power unit.

The RTGs’ hybrid drive system not only reduces fuel consumption but also allows a smaller sized power pack to be fitted.

This reduces engine maintenance, gives a long engine life, eliminates high speed engine idling, and reduces the maintenance of the electrical drive components.

David Gledhill, chief executive of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said: “The arrival of these cranes marks another important milestone in the delivery of the Felixstowe South project.

“The terminal is the only fully committed deep-water container facility in the UK and underlines our position as the clear market-leader in this sector.

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“These eco-RTGs are industry-leading in their class, and as well as being operationally very efficient, will help us to further reduce our environmental impact, and achieve our environmental goals in 2010.”

The new cranes were manufactured by ZPMC (Zhenhua Port Machinery Company) in Shanghai and transported fully erect to the Port of Felixstowe. They will now undergo commissioning and testing before becoming operational at the port’s newest terminal later this year.