DP World initiates electrification of equipment in Brazil, targeting carbon neutrality by 2040

DP World initiates electrification of equipment in Brazil, targeting carbon neutrality by 2040

Date: 19/06/2023

Adoption of renewable energy is part of a global goal to create a more sustainable future for port operations

SANTOS, BRAZIL -- DP World, owner and operator of one of the largest and most modern multipurpose private terminals in Brazil, is increasing the use of renewable energy to power its equipment as part of a global strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. The first major change, underway since early 2023, is the replacement of fuel used in RTGs (container handling cranes) with electric power. The first RTG machine in the fleet has been modified and is already operating in a 100% sustainable manner.

The project aims to adapt a total of 22 equipment units that currently operate on diesel fuel. It is expected that four additional machines will be electrified by the end of 2023, with the remainder completed by the end of 2024.Electrification of the RTGs works through a system of cables that resembles an "electric arm," similar to the logic of an electric bus, known as a trolleybus, which draws power from overhead cables. At the terminal, eight electrical substations will be installed to supply power to the RTGs. Each substation will be capable of supplying power to four blocks of the container yard, with a rolling line of up to 300 meters (about 984.25 ft). The total investment in the project is over 80 million Brazilian reais (about 16,2 million USD).

The electrification technology is one of the most advanced in the world and is already used in ports in Europe and Asia. With this technology, the terminal's diesel consumption will be reduced by up to 60%. "The conversion of the RTGs is a critical step in our decarbonization efforts and aligns with our overall focus on sustainability. In addition to improved environmental care and climate performance, this change is also expected to bring additional operational benefits, as the technology offers low maintenance costs, increased productivity of the RTGs, and improved equipment reliability," explains Fábio Siccherino, CEO of DP World.

The electrification of the RTGs is part of a global sustainability strategy called "Our World, Our Future," which aims to create an intelligent flow of trade for a better future for all. The project for the adoption of renewable energy sources in all port equipment is in effect in the 75 countries where DP World operates. Currently, new equipment purchased by the Group is already powered by renewable energy. Last year, DP World reduced direct carbon emissions from its global operations by 5%, according to its latest ESG report. The Group's President and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, announced that the company intends to invest up to $500 million to reduce CO² emissions from its operations by nearly 700,000 tons over the next five years. 

Environmental initiatives in Brazil

The "Our World, Our Future" strategy guides and directs DP World's responsible actions globally, reducing the impact of its activities on people, communities, and the environment. It is aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In Brazil, DP World Santos has been making efforts towards environmental sustainability since the terminal's construction phase. The company has invested over R$12 million Brazilian reais (about 2,4 million dollars) in more than 30 projects focused on the region's fauna and flora. It has also rescued over 35,000 plants and seeds, with biomass and plant waste reuse, and monitored coastal dunes and mangroves. Furthermore, DP World has promoted the monitoring and management of terrestrial fauna in the region where the terminal was built, aiming to preserve species in locations authorized by IBAMA, as well as the conservation of over 50 hectares of mangroves and coastal dunes in the surrounding area.

In 2022, it became the first port terminal in Brazil to no longer send waste to landfills after implementing the Zero Landfill project, which aims to repurpose all waste generated on-site, particularly non-recyclable waste, converting it into sustainable energy for existing industrial activities. Since the beginning of the project, over 479.40 tons of solid waste have been diverted from landfills.