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August 01, 2019   |   Bay Crossings


Hybrid Crane Engines Bring Immediate Clean-Air Relief in Oakland

About three months into a plan to cut emissions at the Port of Oakland by replacing traditional diesel-burning crane engines with state-of-the-art hybrid engines, port tenant SSA Marine said last month that even it has been surprised by the difference the new engines are already making.

To date, only three crane engines have been swapped out for hybrid engines, but based on the results thus far, SSA projects a 96 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 95 percent reduction in diesel particulate matter emissions when the other 10 cranes at its Oakland International Container Terminal have been retrofitted. That’s expected to happen by next June.  


Ken Larson says the old diesel-burning crane engines—1,000 horsepower behemoths compared to the 142-horsepower engines used only to recharge a crane’s batteries—consumed 10 to 12 gallons of diesel every hour. The new hybrid engines only use about a half-gallon per hour. Less gas used means fewer emissions and lower fuel costs.  


The hybrid conversion project folds nicely into the Port of Oakland’s master plan to reduce emissions (specifically, diesel particulate emissions) by 85 percent by the year 2020. The port’s last report showed diesel particulate emissions were down 81 percent. “We’re confident we’ll hit that goal,” said Zampa.  



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