Containerized cargo handling at the Port of Oakland is about to get cleaner thanks to a crane retrofit project at the port's largest terminal, officials said this week.
The Oakland International Container Terminal is converting 13 diesel-powered yard cranes to hybrid power, a project that is expected to yield a 45-ton reduction in diesel-related air pollutants annually, according to the port. The first hybrid crane began service March 5, and the rest of the retrofitted fleet is expected to be up and running by next year.
Each of the 13 rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes is being equipped with batteries and new, smaller diesel backup engines to create the "Prius of cargo-handling equipment," said Port of Oakland Environmental Planner Catherine Mukai.
The project is the result of a 2018 award that terminal operator SSA Terminals received from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The group awarded SSA a $5 million grant for the hybrid project through its Community Health Protection Grant Program. SSA is adding another $1 million to retrofit its cranes; port officials say SSA could recoup its costs within two years due to fuel savings.
"We depend heavily on this equipment to keep cargo flowing smoothly," said Jim Rice, general manager at Oakland International Container Terminal. "We're pleased to find a solution that makes us more efficient and at the same time benefits the environment."