The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has been awarded a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant in conjunction with the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. The $2.72 million award will repower GPA-owned equipment with higher tier engines that reduce air emissions.
“When we officially adopted the Environmental Policy last year, the GPA made a commitment to do everything it could to conduct port operations in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner,” said GPA’s Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz. “I’m very pleased the new engines will increase fuel efficiency by burning cleaner, emitting less pollution and reducing fuel use per container.”
Through assistance of this grant, the GPA will repower 17 of its older rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTG) from TIER I to newer, cleaner TIER III diesel engines. In addition to significant reduction in emissions as a result of upgrading to TIER III engines, these new diesels will be more fuel efficient. These diesel engines automatically switch from idle (about half of normal operating speed) to higher operating speeds and back to idle speed as needed to meet the variable load demands.
The RTG repower project, as calculated by the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Quantifier, will reduce diesel emissions 33.29 percent or 24,829 tons over the lifetime of the 17 cranes. It will also reduce fuel consumption by 129,200 gallons annually.
“Repowering takes advantage of new technology that will significantly improve the efficiency, productivity and service life of the equipment,” said GPA’s Senior Director of Engineering and Facilities Maintenance Wilson Tillotson. “These newer engines will use 70 percent of the fuel compared with the older engines, which reduces diesel emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels.”
The GPA converted its fleet of yard cranes, trucks and other container handling equipment to cleaner burning ULSD fuel in June 2008, two and a half years prior to the Federal requirement.
“EPA is proud to recognize the efforts of the Georgia Ports Authority to reduce the impact of diesel pollution and protect public health,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg. “Emissions from diesel engines are a serious public health threat and environmental challenge, as well as a priority for EPA.”
The National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program provides funding to reduce emissions from existing diesel engines through a variety of strategies, including but not limited to: add-on emission control retrofit technologies; idle reduction technologies; cleaner fuel use; engine repowers; engine upgrades; and/or vehicle or equipment replacement; and the creation of innovative finance programs to fund diesel emissions reduction projects.
DERA was passed under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and assists states and other organizations with grants and loans to curtail diesel emissions without impeding economic development. The initiative authorized $1 billion during the next five years to help states clean up diesel fleets through upgrades and retrofits.