New Electric Cranes Accelerate Port’s Maritime Clean Air Strategy

All new, all-electric harbor cranes have arrived at the Port of San Diego and are the first in North America. The new cranes will further advance the Port’s efforts to improve public health and air quality.

SAN DIEGO— The Port of San Diego’s two new all-electric Gottwald Generation 6 Mobile Harbor Cranes from Konecranes have arrived at the Port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

With a history dating back to 1910, Konecranes is a global-leader among lifting businesses that serves a broad range of customers, including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports and terminals.

The new cranes are the first of their kind in North America. They will help the Port improve public health and air quality, a significant milestone in bringing cleaner air to the portside communities of Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights, Logan Heights and west National City.

“These all-electric mobile harbor cranes are a game changer for public health, the environment and our regional economy. It’s a win, win, win,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, of the Board of Port Commissioners, in a press release. “By replacing our diesel-operated cargo handling equipment with electric equipment, like these cranes, we continue to ensure the air on and around the terminal is cleaner to breathe, we reduce our environmental impacts and we fulfill our responsibility to support commerce and jobs in our region.”

The cranes are anticipated to be operational later this year. The Port ordered the battery-supported electric cranes from Konecranes for approximately $14 million and spent an additional $8.9 million to make the needed electrical infrastructure improvements to support the cranes, including $2.7 million in grant funding from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District.

They will replace the diesel-powered crane currently in use at the Tenth Avenue terminal. The conversion from a diesel-powered crane to an all-electric crane system is a big step toward achieving a goal of the Port’s ambitious Maritime Clean Air Strategy – transitioning all cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030.

In addition to the public health and environmental benefits, the new crane system will allow the Port to compete for more business. The cranes will represent the heaviest lift capability of any crane system currently in place on the West Coast – up to 400 metric tons (MT) versus the 100 MT lifting capacity of the Port’s diesel crane. Most of the heavy-lift cargoes destined for that region weigh more than 200 MT, including more prominent pieces of solar, wind and industrial energy equipment, as well as project cargoes. With their heavier capacity and faster offloading speed, the new cranes also will better serve the Port’s existing operations when crane movements are needed.

The Tenth Avenue terminal, one of the Port’s two marine cargo terminals, serves as an omni-cargo terminal. The 96-acre facility handles breakbulk, bulk, container and project cargos for solar, wind and hydroelectric power installations, along with steel and engines used in local shipbuilding. In addition, private yachts, refrigerated cargo, soda ash, sugar, paper reams and more move through the terminal.

In addition to being the first in North America to have all-electric dual mobile harbor cranes, the Port of San Diego:

  • Will be the first Port in the country to have an electric tug. Crowley is building the eTug and anticipates it arriving in San Diego in the coming months.
  • Was among the first ports to have shore power at its terminals, which allows vessels to plug into electric power in port, so they don’t have to run their diesel engines.
  • Was, in 2013, among the first ports to adopt a Climate Action Plan.

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