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Marine Terminals Corp goes greener in LA

Oakland-headquartered Marine Terminals Corp (MTC) recently took delivery of 53 LPG-powered Kalmar terminal tractors for its West Basin Container Terminal in the Port of Los Angeles. Here, these Kalmar workhorses are used to transport containers between the ship-to-shore cranes and the trailer park and stacking areas.

MTC began actively working with alternative fuel and clean air strategies more than five years ago, participating in the first Carl Moyer Program in 1998 and purchasing five LPG-powered yard tractors for use at Evergreen America Port of Los Angeles container terminal. Last year, it announced that it was also working to provide cost-effective air quality benefits with its existing diesel-powered equipment using alternative diesel fuels in both Los Angeles and Long Beach.

According to Don Lawrence, Kalmar Industries Corp western regional manager, Kalmar pioneering role in the provision of greener handling equipment has earned it respect from port and terminal operators, particularly on the US West Coast where environmental issues are very high profile:

"Kalmar is committed to providing new technologies and solutions that meet customer requirements for ever-cleaner trucks. Today, California is the front line in the development of such machines. Terminal operators are under great pressure to reduce harmful emissions and are relying on Kalmar to help them achieve their goals.

"In keeping with its ISO 14000 status, Kalmar prides itself on its commitment to developing environmentally-sensitive equipment, Cleaner emissions, lower noise levels and higher levels of safety are at the top of our agenda when developing or refining our product range. Greater use of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, otherwise known as propane) and LNG (liquefied natural gas) is inevitable and we at Kalmar intend to be ready to meet this demand.

"So far, we have not seen the same pressure being applied elsewhere in the US and certainly not in ports in Asia or Europe. However, if experience is anything to go by, it will be only a matter of time before other states in the US, and like-minded countries elsewhere, follow California lead and actively encourage cleaner fuels for container terminal handling equipment."

According to Mr Lawrence, the technology associated with the use of LPG is well-proven:

"LPG has been used for decades on small lift trucks and port operators are well-used to refuelling procedures. In fact, there can be positive advantages in that the same refuelling facilities can be used for other types of vehicle too."

Kalmar has also supplied LPG-powered trucks in the past to non-marine clients that are already using LPG for their delivery vehicles operating on the public highway.

Built at Kalmar Ottawa plant in Kansas, MTC LPG tractors are powered by Cummins B LPG 195 engines rated at 195 bhp (145 kW) and 420lb-ft (569 Nm) torque. MTC has specified that the trucks be outfitted with two 40-gallon propane tanks so the trucks could operate for the same time period as one 42-gallon diesel fuel tank before refuelling is necessary.

MTC has always taken the lead in having the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective equipment in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Its customers often rely upon MTC leadership to identify and implement the most viable technologies to maximize the efficiency of their business and the need to improve air quality for neighboring communities and employees. MTC customers include China Shipping, Yang Ming, Evergreen, and Hanjin.

Cleaner air does not come without the unexpected, as MTC Area Maintenance Manager Ken Pope mentioned.

"Even the most well thought-out introduction of new technologies cannot predict every scenario in the field. From my perspective, truly successful programmes require effort and the fortitude to press on even when we encounter an operational issue."

Environmental programmes are not easily launched and implemented. Many dedicated individuals have worked diligently to put these into place. MTC has been fortunate in receiving tremendous cooperation from its customers, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and Air Resources Board (ARB)—and they should be congratulated for making these programmes so successful.

Notes to editors:

Press information can be found on Kalmar website Simply click on News Room to be taken to a list of recent press releases or on Press Pictures to be taken to the Kalmar photo gallery.

The caption for the photograph reads:

"California is leading the world with incentives to reduce vehicle emissions and port and terminal operators throughout the state are playing their part. Kalmar has recently delivered 53 LPG-powered terminal tractors to Oakland-headquartered Marine Terminals Corp (MTC) for its West Basin Container Terminal in the Port of Los Angeles as part of a programme to expand the use of cleaner fuels at MTC facilities."

Kalmar is a global provider of heavy duty materials handling equipment and services to ports, intermodal traffic, terminals and demanding industrial customers. Kalmar focuses on supplying handling solutions that enable customers to operate with a high level of efficiency and reliability. Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine.

Kalmar provides a large range of value added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Manufacturing plants are situated in Sweden (as is the head office), in Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Malaysia, China and the USA.

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