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SSA Terminals backs hybrid RTGs

SSA Terminals says its new Hybrid RTGs with Mi-Jack technology will cut GHG emissions by 96%.

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One of the ZPMC RTGs with retrofit Mi-Jack Hybrid drive
One of the ZPMC RTGs with retrofit Mi-Jack Hybrid drive

SSA’s Oakland International Container Terminal is part way through a US$6M project to refit the fleet of 13 ZPMC RTGs at its Oakland International Terminal (OICT) with battery hybrid drives from Mi-Jack. This involves removing replacing the existing 1,000 hp Caterpillar diesel engines with a much smaller 142 HP diesel genset that will be utilised to periodically recharge the batteries whenever the battery pack state-of-charge drops below its optimal level.


Full details of the refit and Port of Oakland’s decision to support hybrids rather than conversion to fully electric RTGs are covered in this previous article.


SSA Terminals is very happy with the 96% reduction in GHG from the new hybrid drives. “This is way better than we thought it would be,” said Ken Larson, Crane Manager for the terminal’s parent company, Seattle-based SSA Terminals. “So far, this is a very successful project.”


OICT is one of the busiest terminals in the US at the moment and the RTG fleet is doing around 1,000 lifts per day. So far three machines have been retrofitted and returned to service since March, with the remainder to be completed by June 2020.


Fuel consumption with the Mi-Jack hybrid system is miserly compared to the 1,000 hp Cummins engines. “The old engines burned 10 to 12 gallons of diesel an hour; the new ones…about a half-gallon per hour,” explained Mr. Larson. “That’s the nuts and bolts of air emission savings right there and we’re astonished by the results.”


Buring less fuel means fewer GHG and particulate emission. SSA terminals calculates a reduction of 1,200 metric tons of GHG emissions annually from each crane and a 95% reduction in diesel particulate matter emissions. The project was largely funded through a US$5M grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

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