Investment Was Needed to Stay Ahead of Ever Bigger Box Ships
UK – The DP World container terminal at Southampton recently saw the final installation of their latest handling equipment, two giant electric quay cranes manufactured and assembled by Liebherr and readied in time for the arrival of the JeanMermoz, at 20,954 TEU the CMA CGM vessel the largest ever to call at the terminal to date.
As with the equipment at the company’s other major UK base, London Gateway, the quay cranes are part of ongoing investment to keep apace of the ever larger box vessels employed. Environmental considerations come into play as usual and the two 129.8 metre high, 1,500 tonne cranes also generate their own electricity when the container boxes they lift off the vessels descend onto the quay. This helps power the cranes with any surplus electricity being sent back to the port electricity grid.
Described as ‘Meccano like’ the crane sections arrived at the port earlier this year and the Liebherr engineers assembled them on site before a two day operation to raise them from the ground and transfer onto a set of remote controlled caterpillar tracks which carried them to the quayside, controlled by an engineer walking alongside and steering the giant machines. Nick Loader, Chief Operating Officer, DP World UK, said:
“With bigger vessels, discharging and loading more boxes on each call we need to invest in our infrastructure and equipment if we want to remain competitive. These quay cranes have a 24 container-wide outreach which gives us greater flexibility to handle higher stows.
“Our customers’ vessels are not only getting bigger but greener and more efficient too. The newest container ships to call here have engines that can be powered by LNG (liquid natural gas) to comply with new international maritime emission standards.”