electric REfrigEration at MGTP

Twelve shiny new structures look skyward at the Port of Montreal’s Section 77 (Cast), operated by Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership (MGTP). These 12 stations provide electric plug-in power for temperature-controlled containers. Bye, bye diesel generators!

The installation of these stations is proof that the ecology and the economy do indeed go hand in hand, and more often than we think. Moving from diesel to electricity reduces operating costs by at least 80%! And, according to estimates, it prevents some 4,560 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually, depending on the volume of containers handled.

“This is a major project in terms of GHG reductions and it clearly shows how we are considerably improving our environmental performance,” said Pierre-Luc Bastien, MGTP’s environment manager. He was involved in developing the project along with colleague Daniel Boyer, director of the maintenance department. CEO Kevin M. Doherty and chief financial officer Michael Fratianni strongly supported the initiative.

Approximately $5 million was invested in the project. But MGTP expects to recoup that money in three years through reduced operating costs derived from the project and a $2,281,500 subsidy from the Quebec Transport Ministry. Afterwards, the 80% reduction in costs will translate into significant net gains. The ministry will provide extra help by contributing $500 per tonne of GHG prevented.

Previously, twenty-two 40-foot containers with two diesel motors each supplied power to 16 temperature-controlled containers. “The impact was enormous when you considered the combination of diesel costs, operating and maintenance costs, and the impact on the environment,” Boyer said. The company therefore decided to install 288 electrical outlets. In addition, the new structures can accommodate containers stacked four instead of only two high,  which increases handling space. And vehicle traffic flow on the terminal has improved because the structures are concentrated in one location.


Recognition awards

In another piece of good news, MGTP has established a recognition program that pays tribute to its maintenance employees who have combined to log 609 days without lost-time injuries. The employees received gifts in recognition of their efforts.