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Reducing Fuel Consumption and Emissions at Georgia Ports

The Port of Savannah is one of Caterpillar’s busiest for exporting equipment overseas.

Since the mid-1700s, when Georgia was still a British colony, the Port of Savannah has served as an economic engine. The first dock for ocean-going ships was built in 1744, and soon warehouses lined the Savannah River.

Today, more than two-and-a-half centuries later, Georgia’s deepwater ports in Savannah and Brunswick and the state’s inland barge terminals in Bainbridge and Columbus contribute more than $61 billion to the state’s economy annually and support more than 295,000 jobs throughout Georgia. The Port of Savannah handles 8.6 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.4 percent of all U.S. containerized exports. The Port of Brunswick is the nation’s third-busiest port for auto and machinery cargo, and the second-busiest for imports of that kind.

Ship-to-shore cranes remove containers from ships, then rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTG) stack, sort, and lift the containers onto trailers so they can be transported across the Southeast.

To reduce its fuel consumption and emissions required for handling more than 26 million tons of cargo, the Georgia Ports Authority upgraded older RTGs at the Port of Savannah with Tier 4 Interim certified Cat® C15 ACERT™ engines. The repower project replaced Cat® engines originally installed on RTGs in 1995.

The new units also offer variable rpm, so that rpms can be adjusted to more precisely meet demand loads, reducing fuel consumption.

“A key part of the Georgia Ports Authority’s mission is to maintain the natural quality of the environment,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA’s executive director. “It is critical for us to demonstrate global excellence in all aspects of our operations as we look to nearly double port capacity within the next ten years, and these diesel generator sets from Caterpillar will help us fulfill our commitment to environmental leadership while increasing our productivity.”

The new Cat® generator sets in the cranes have reduced emissions of NOx by more than 60 percent and emissions of particulate matter by more than 80 percent, while reducing total annual diesel fuel consumption by 129,200 gallons.

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