Industries Ports/Trade

Port receives federal grant for new cargo-handling equipment

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The Port of Virginia has received a $750,000 grant to be used toward the purchase of low-emission, hybrid cargo-handling equipment.

The port is using the money from the Environmental Protection Agency to help replace three older Tier 1 diesel-powered straddle carriers, which are used to move cargo containers around the port’s terminals. The port will use the money to help purchase Tier 4 diesel-electric shuttle carriers, another type of container-moving equipment. The carriers will be the first of its kind to be used on the East Coast.

Tier 4 engines are the cleanest-running diesel engines available to the industry. They require that certain emissions be reduced by as much as 90 percent through the use of control technologies, including advanced exhaust-gas after treatment.

The project cost is $3.4 million, and the port's portion is $2.7 million.

The hybrid equipment will be part of the port's Green Operator program, or GO program, which is a voluntary truck replacement and vessel-fuel switching program.

"This effort further integrates our cargo handling sector into the GO program," John Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Port of Virginia, said in a statement. "It has been our policy for more than a decade to demonstrate and incorporate clean-diesel technology into our operation. This effort will produce immediate environmental improvements through reduction of emissions, fossil fuel consumption and noise from port operations."

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