Norfolk -- The Port of Virginia received a $750,000 federal grant today that will be used toward the purchase of three pieces of low-emission, hybrid cargo-handling equipment, which will be the first of its kind on the US East Coast.
"We're going to phase-out some older machines that have come to the end of their usefulness and will eventually be headed to recycling," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. "The port is an economic engine and as part of that we have a responsibility to do business in an environmentally-sound fashion, where and when possible. This is an opportunity to act upon that."
The port is replacing a trio of aging, Tier 1 diesel-powered straddle carriers with Tier 4 diesel-electric shuttle carriers. At The Port of Virginia, straddle carriers are used at Norfolk International Terminals and shuttle carriers are used at APMT in Portsmouth, which is where the new machines will be deployed. The hybrid equipment was designed by Kalmar, a leading developer of container handling equipment.
(Through its "Tier" system, the federal government rates non-road diesel engines, with Tier 4 engines being the cleanest-running diesel engines available to industry. Tier 4 standards require that certain emissions be reduced by as much as 90 percent through the use of control technologies, including advanced exhaust-gas after treatment.)
The project cost is $3,423,000 and the port's portion is $2,673,000. The hybrid equipment will be part of the port's Green Operator program, or GO program, which is a voluntary truck replacement and vessel-fuel switching program.
"This effort further integrates our cargo handling sector into the GO program," Reinhart said. "It has been our policy for more than a decade to demonstrate and incorporate clean-diesel technology into our operation. This effort will produce immediate environmental improvements through reduction of emissions, fossil fuel consumption and noise from port operations."