PD Ports converts RTGs to electric



PD Ports, owner and operator of Teesport, the fifth largest port in the UK, has contracted Konecranes to convert the primary power supply of four diesel-driven rubber tired gantry cranes (RTGs) to electric.

The order was booked in August 2021 and is intended to boost operational efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

The £1.2million conversion project will mean that 70% of PD Ports’ RTG fleet runs on electric and forms the latest step in an ongoing journey of decarbonization for the port operator, who aims to reach carbon-neutrality across its Tees-based operations by 2027.

The project 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: “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. 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.”

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.