Isla Grande Terminal Upgrades


Crowley Maritime Corporation


San Juan, Puerto Rico






Civic & Public

Project Team
Paul Larson
Senior Electrical Engineer
David Woods
Engineering Production Specialist/CAD
Peter Lekhakul
Senior Electrical Engineer
Mike Lehner
Associate, Senior Project Manager
Supporting Isla Grande's Largest Terminal Improvements Project in 40 Years

The Port of San Juan is one of the busiest container ports in the Caribbean and Latin America. Crowley Puerto Rico Services, Inc. (Crowley) has been serving Puerto Rico since 1954 and is the top ocean carrier operating between the island commonwealth and the U.S. mainland. Crowley invested in major upgrades to its Isla Grande Terminal to transition its operations from “roll on/roll off” barges to a new fleet of combination “lift on/lift off” and “roll on/roll off” container vessels.

The terminal upgrades included a new 900-foot by 114-foot container pier to accommodate the incoming liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, Commitment Class shipping vessels, three new 60-ton capacity ship-to-shore gantry cranes, 164 refrigerated trailer parking spaces, and a total reconfiguration of the upland terminal operations and infrastructure to support container stacking and computerized distribution truck entry and exiting. This is the largest terminal improvements project since the original terminal construction in 1977.

We provided electrical engineering for this significant project, which nearly tripled the electrical demand. We worked with local electrical utility Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to bring higher capacity service to the site. We designed a total replacement of the main service substation with a 20 MVA double-ended main-tie-main 38 kV/13.2 kV substation serving a new, fully enclosed 13.2 kV switchhouse that survived two CAT4 hurricanes and remained completely dry.

The site is also supported by three emergency/standby generators, which required integration with the new electrical service and distribution equipment. Construction was accomplished while the container terminal remained fully operational, requiring complex phasing and coordination among the terminal operators, construction contractors, project managers, and designers.

We also provided the site communications infrastructure, lighting, and site security systems to support the pier and terminal upgrades.