New Jersey terminal switches to propane

December 29, 2022 By    
MAFI's propane-powered port tractor. (Image: PERC)

MAFI’s propane-powered port tractor. (Image: PERC)

Going forward, the Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) plans to use propane-powered equipment at its location in Newark, New Jersey.

The decision will replace PNCT’s diesel-powered port tractor fleet and reduce emissions, according to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

A side-by-side analysis of international heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer MAFI’s propane port tractor with the terminal’s current diesel models will compare fuel efficiency, run time, torque, power and emissions output, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides and carbon dioxide.

“We are impressed with the performance of MAFI’s port tractor,” says Charlie Ferlisi, director of engineering and equipment services at PNCT. “Propane is efficient, powerful and clean, making it an environmentally safe choice for our longshoremen to decarbonize the port. We are excited to deploy this technology and be one of the first ports to adopt clean propane.”

The MAFI port tractor is powered by PSI’s 8.8-liter propane engine that is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board for use in mobile, off-road applications. The engine emits .02 grams of NOx per brake horsepower, making it one of the cleanest propane engines available on the market. The engine also offers 270 horsepower with 565 pound-ft. of torque.

In addition, PERC says, propane port tractors are about one-third the cost of their electric counterparts and offer cost benefits with refueling infrastructure.

“Propane is the future of clean, low-carbon energy at ports,” says Joe Calhoun, director of off-road development at PERC. “Through their commitment, PNCT is leading the way toward meaningful emissions reduction at ports. We feel confident any ports that follow the same path as PNCT to test propane equipment will discover that it is the best energy source to cleanly and efficiently power their operations.”

German manufacturer MAFI showcased its first propane-powered port tractor at the Breakbulk Americas show in September 2022.

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the senior digital media manager for North Coast Media, the parent company of LP Gas. She can be reached at

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