The Georgia Ports Authority cuts its environmental footprint

Through the GPA’s crane electrification, use of refrigerated container racks, upcoming RTG repower project and use of fuel additives, the Port of Savannah will avoid use of more than 4.5 million gallons of fuel annually.

By Patrick Burnson · August 16, 2010

A diesel additive study conducted by The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) yielded a five-percent reduction in fuel consumption, as well as drastically decreased emissions.

According to GPA Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz the study represents a “proactive effort to reduce our environmental footprint.”

“As we expand our operations to accommodate increased cargo, we continue to look for ways to improve efficiencies and operate in an even more environmentally-friendly manner,” he said.

GPA’s engineering staff commissioned a study to determine whether a fuel additive would be effective in reducing pollutant emissions and increasing engine fuel efficiency for its diesel equipment fleet. WPC of Savannah, Ga., was contracted to conduct the test and provide analysis. This large-scale test studied two of the most widely used container-handling equipment at the Port of Savannah.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see these dramatic results said GPA’s Senior Director of Engineering and Facilities Maintenance Wilson Tillotson. “With the large-scale nature of this study, we are confident the additive will yield an improvement in fuel efficiency and a significant reduction in emissions.”

In January 2010, the GPA conducted a baseline monitoring for its diesel vehicle fleet at Garden City Terminal. The study included a diesel vehicle fleet of 64 rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) and 40 jockey trucks. Baseline monitoring consisted of collecting emissions and fuel consumption data with all vehicles using ultra-low-sulfur diesel without the additive.

For emissions monitoring, the test measured the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criteria pollutants: nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. Fuel consumption and operating hours were measured to develop a consumption rate in gallons per hour.

“The intent of the fuel additive is to yield a more complete and efficient fuel combustion,” said Joseph R. Ross, Jr., Senior Associate and Environmental Department Manager with WPC. “By increasing the combustion efficiency, not only are fuel savings evident, the formation of criteria air pollutants is also reduced. These reductions will benefit all of Chatham County by reducing pollutant concentrations and helping to maintain compliance with state and federal attainment criteria.”

The result of the study indicated a decrease of approximately five percent in fuel consumption. Reductions in EPA criteria pollutants were more significant. Particulate matter reductions averaged as high as 71 percent, while nitrogen dioxide decreased as much as 20 percent and carbon monoxide decreased an average of 19 percent. The study did not produce conclusive results regarding the impact of the additive on sulfur dioxide emissions. However, GPA’s conversion in 2008 to ultra-low-sulfur diesel reduced the total sulfur content by 99 percent.

“The results are proof-positive that these additives work,” said Tillotson. “We plan to continue using fuel additives for all diesel consumed on GPA property.”

Through the GPA’s crane electrification, use of refrigerated container racks, upcoming RTG repower project and use of fuel additives, the Port of Savannah will avoid use of more than 4.5 million gallons of fuel annually.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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