Port of San Diego cranes

Port of San Diego eyes more business as it welcomes all-electric harbor cranes

The Port of San Diego has taken delivery of two new all-electric Gottwald Generation 6 Mobile Harbor Cranes from Konecranes at the port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal (TAMT).

Image credit Port of San Diego

“The new cranes are the first of their kind in North America and 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,” the port said.

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, which included $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 TAMT. The conversion from a diesel-powered crane to an all-electric crane system is aimed at achieving a goal of the Port’s Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS) of transitioning all cargo handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030.

The cranes are anticipated to be operational later this year.

“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, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

“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.”

In addition to the public health and environmental benefits, the new crane system is expected to enable the port to compete for more business.

Namely, 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 this region weigh more than 200 MT, including larger pieces of solar, wind, and industrial energy equipment as well as project cargoes.

TAMT, one of the port’s two marine cargo terminals, serves as an omni-cargo terminal consisting of a 96-acre facility and handles breakbulk, bulk, container, and project cargos for solar, wind and hydroelectric power installations, steel, and engines used in local shipbuilding.

In addition to all-electric cranes, the Port of San Diego is set to become the first port in the country to have an electric tug, with the eTug from Crowley expected to arrive in the coming months.

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Furthermore, the port has been an early adopter of sustainability measures, such as offering shore power at its terminals and establishing a Climate Action Plan in 2013.