Laem Chabang, Thailand- APM Terminals’ program to convert Rubber-Tire Gantry (RTG) cranes from diesel to electric power announced a year ago has taken another major step forward with the signing of a €1 million ($1.3 million USD) contract with German-based Conductix-Wampfler for the retrofitting of RTGs at LCB Container Terminal 1 Ltd. (LCB1) - Thailand’s busiest container port.
“The electrification of the RTGs at LCB1 will enhance Port of Laem Chabang’s leadership position within environmental performance and make the port a role model for other ports in Thailand and elsewhere in the region” stated LCB Container Terminal 1, CEO Niels T. Hansen.
The conversion of RTG power from diesel to electricity is made possible through flexible automatic power connections linking the RTGs to a conductor rail. Conductix-Wampler will be installing more than 2.5 km of conductor rails at the terminal to accommodate the electric power link. By reducing diesel fuel consumption in the existing RTG engines, the terminal is projected to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,300 tons annually.
Diesel-powered RTGs account for approximately 20% of all CO2 emissions from terminal operations.
If adopted nationwide, the emission-reductions would be considerable. There are currently a total of 158 diesel-powered RTGs in operation at Thai ports. The Port of Laem Chabang in the Chonburi Province on the Gulf of Thailand was the 4th busiest container port in Southeast Asia and the 21st busiest worldwide with 5.7 million TEUs handled in 2011.
APM Terminals holds a 35% minority share in LCB1, which opened in 1995. Through its share in LCB1, APM Terminals also holds a 31.5% share of neighboring LCMT Company Ltd. (LCMT), in which LCB1 holds a majority stake. Combined container throughput at LCB1 and LCMT in 2011 was 1.25 million TEUs. The conversion of LCB1’s RTGs is scheduled to be completed next year, with the considerably larger RTG fleet at the Malaysian Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), another member of the APM Terminals Global Port, Terminal and Inland Services Network next scheduled for conversion. PTP handled 7.5 million TEUs in 2011.