Feature, Freight News, Sea

Suffolk ports think electric

[ November 8, 2021   //   ]

The Port of Felixstowe has ordered 48 battery-powered terminal tractors and 17 remote controlled electric rubber-tyred gantry cranes (ReARTGs).

The new two-wheel drive tractor units, from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries will be the first electric tractors in the port, while the ReARTGs, which will be fitted with the latest semi-automation technology, will be supplied by Konecranes Finland.

The port’s chief executive, Chris Lewis, said: the equipment would save 6,662 tonnes of CO2 and 59.38 tonnes of NOx emissions every year, adding that Felixstowe has already reduced its carbon footprint by 30% since 2015 through a range of measures including the first phase of our programme to phase out diesel-powered yard cranes.

Managing director Hutchison Ports Europe and joint chair of Hutchison Ports Group Sustainability Committee, Clemence Cheng, added that Felixstowe will be upgrading its high voltage electrical power distribution network and installing new electrical infrastructure to support the ReARTGs and ten charging stations for the battery-powered terminal tractors.

It is also working with partners, including Ryse Hydrogen, to explore the use of hydrogen powered port equipment and with Cranfield University, Sizewell C and EDF, the Port of Felixstowe is involved in one of the projects selected to receive support from the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. The project involves a feasibility study into the potential for Freeport East, which includes the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich International, to become a net-zero port and a net-zero energy hub for third parties and the adjacent region.

Not to be outdone, ABP’s Port of Ipswich said it had agreed a contract with Cooper Specialised Handling to deliver some of the first fully mains electric powered hydraulic cranes in the UK. ABP has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% since 2014, and this £4 million investment is another step in its campaign, with all cargo handling operations at Ipswich expected to be fully electrified within the next five years.

The two Mantsinen model 95ER cranes will have innovative insight reporting systems that can further reduce energy. The port already has 4,000 solar panels installed onsite generating sufficient energy to power them. They are expected to enter service in Spring 2022.

Discharge of a record shipment of fertiliser, from the M V Petrel S, at ABP’s Port of Ipswich. Picture: Stephen Waller/ABP