Guangzhou Container Terminal – Electric Prime Movers

Prime Movers are essential equipment in a container terminal. However, the carbon emissions caused by diesel prime movers (dPM) are high and inevitable. In Guangzhou Container Terminal (GCT), dPMs’ carbon emissions account for the 19% of total emissions of all equipment. A total of 10,818,000 kg CO2e of carbon emissions were produced by diesel prime movers in 2020, which is equivalent to about 5,000 Tesla cars’ weight.

GCT has voluntarily adopted energy-efficient port equipment designs that contribute towards lowering carbon emissions. A project was initiated to replace all 40 existing dPM with electric ones over the course of 5 years. In December 2020, the first batch of 10 electric prime movers (ePM) became operational. The adoption of ePM will reduce carbon emissions by about 52% compared to using dPMs. Annually, this will help abate over 1,780,000 kg CO2e of carbon emissions by 2026.

Besides carbon emissions, traditional dPM also have additional externalities, such as noise pollution and high maintenance costs. Hence, the deployment of ePM offers additional benefits including:

  • Almost four times less operational failures.
  • Reduced cost per container (0.14USD instead of 0.39USD).
  • 100% elimination of noise.
  • Increased operational efficiency.

As with the implementation of any new equipment, systems and processes, GCT had to train its workforce and adapt its procedures to the operational changes and to address any associated challenges. Understanding and following strict safety protocols and charging procedures for the operation of ePM assisted in building up the port industry’s expertise and experience with alternative lower-carbon energy sources. The deployment of ePM makes GCT operations greener and safer.