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PD Ports, owner and operator of Teesport, the fifth largest port in the UK, has contracted specialist crane manufacturers, Konecranes, to convert the primary power supply of four diesel-driven Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes (RTGs) to electric, boosting operational efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

This is the first phase of a wider electrification process, totalling over £2 million of investment by PD Ports, and will mean that 70% of PD Ports’ RTG fleet runs on electric, demonstrating the latest step in an ongoing journey of decarbonisation for the port operator who aims to reach carbon-neutrality across its Tees-based operations by 2027.

The process, which will be carried out by Konecranes, involves the removal of all diesel components. This will completely eliminate the consumption of diesel fuel, instead allowing the equipment to run wholly on electric – significantly reducing carbon emissions and noise pollution as well as lowering maintenance requirements.

Frans Calje, PD Ports CEO, said: “The implementation of alternative, cleaner energy supplies is one of the key components to our long-term vision for Teesport and is another step in achieving our 30 year plan in which we aim to work with customers and stakeholders to elevate the River Tees to the UK’s most successful port region by 2050.

“PD Ports is a key piece of national infrastructure and as the Statutory Harbour Authority for the River Tees, we have a duty to ensure that we continuously work to reduce our impact on the environment throughout our operations.”

“As long-standing partners of Konecranes, we are very much looking forward to working with them on this project and delivering on our commitment to developing clean, sustainable port technology.”

Each RTG will take an average of three weeks to covert meaning the project, which will extend the lifespan of the equipment for an additional decade, is due for completion in early 2022.

During the retrofit, Konecranes will also be installing fibre optics which will future-proof the RTGs, enabling continuous upgrades and access to enhanced features, such as remote operations, meaning the equipment will be central to increasing both efficiencies and productivity for PD Ports.

Paolo Dazi, Konecranes Port Services Senior Vice President, said: ‘’We are dedicated to helping ports and terminal operators grow through sustainable, digital and adaptable service solutions. The trust PD Ports has shown in us, as equipment lifecycle experts is really exciting and rewards our ambition to keep increasing customers’ operational efficiency, safety and equipment sustainability.’’

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