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Date: 10 Feb, 2021
Source: Nation Newspaper

Two new diesel-electric hybrid Straddle Carriers at the Port of Bridgetown are expected to help improve operations in terms of environmental sustainability, savings on fuel and wait times.

The Port of Bridgetown is working towards the reduction of carbon emissions and environmental sustainability and sourced the equipment via the Miami-based Oceanland Equipment LLC, from manufacturers, Kalmar.

The equipment came from Poland and was received on Friday, February 5.

In a media statement from the Port, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey said: “This is precisely the sort of clean growth and transition to a zero-emission industry, business and operation that we have been focusing on. The Port, having embarked on an eco-efficiency journey since 2019, is committed to replacing its ageing cargo handling fleet with equipment powered by electricity or alternative fuels which will not only reduce its carbon footprint, but also usher in fuel cost savings of approximately 40 per cent”.

Additionally, Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) chief executive officer, David Jean-Marie explained: “Our US$2.6 million investment in new green machines will deliver significant savings in terms of fuel, as well as maintenance costs compared to conventional diesel-powered machines, while reducing CO2 emissions and noise pollution.

“Acquisition of the green cargo handling equipment is not only a key element of our sustainability strategy but is intrinsically linked to our performance improvement goals, our thrust to enhance productivity, minimise wait times and speed up vessel turnaround times at the Port”.

The Port said the straddle carriers are powered by lithium ion battery technology and feature a maintenance-free regenerative energy system. They will be “fitted with the required hardware to enable them to be connected to Kalmar Insight – a performance management tool for cargo handling operations that turns data into actionable, impactful insights”.

Kalmar will also provide commissioning services and maintenance and operator training for BPI personnel.

BPI Divisional Manager of Operations, Ian Stewart said: “Implementing the latest generation hybrid and fully electric solutions will deliver huge benefits in line with our green strategy. And working with Kalmar, we will be able to implement a holistic approach to equipment integration that combines mobile equipment, process automation and terminal operating system capabilities.”

BPI is also adding four electric powered forklifts to its fleet. They will be used in breakbulk operations, moving cargo such as steel, cement, lumber and poles. They will include a time-saving diagnostic system and a fully adjustable ergonomic cabin.

Eduardo Prat, Vice President, Latin America, Kalmar said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to support Barbados Port with their goal to boost sustainability and efficiency at Bridgetown.” (PR)