A new generation of ports for larger container ships
By Laura Hatton03 July 2013
Larger container ships need ports with increased cargo handling capability and they are driving change at ports around the world.
The DP London World Gateway, in Essex, UK, is aiming to meet industry demands of increased container capacity. It has been designed to handle 3.5 million TEU (one standard 20 feet container) a year.
To achieve these high demands, 24 giant gantry cranes will be installed at the port, each capable of unloading 0.5 km-long ships that can carry more than 10,000 containers. The cranes will be able to serve container ships carrying 18,000 containers. The cranes, built and delivered by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC) in China, each weigh 2,000 tonnes and stand 138 m tall. In addition to these cranes, Cargotec will provide 28 Kalmar shuttle carriers and 40 Kalmar automatic stacking cranes to the port.
Another UK port undergoing change is St Peter Port Harbour in Guernsey, UK, which is being renovated so it is capable of handling 50,000 tonnes of container freight a year.
Phase one of the £13.75 million (US $20.74 million) refurbishment project, which comprised the demolition of four harbour cranes and the installation of a Terex Gottwald, has already been completed. A second crane will be delivered later this year. The 63 tonne capacity HMK 170 E lifts to a radius of 38 metres and can run from onboard diesel generators. To avoid exhaust emissions in port, however, the cranes can be connected to an 11 kV electrical shore supply. The crane was manufactured at Terex Port Solutions’ production facility in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Speaking on the project, St Peter Port’s Harbour Master, Captain Peter Gill, said, “When fully operational, the two Terex Gottwald Mobile Harbour Cranes will be doing the work of the four former cranes, with obvious benefits in terms of the utilisation of available space and operational efficiency.”
Larger ship-to-shore (STS) cranes are also being installed at ports around the world. The Exolgan Container Terminal in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for example, has ordered a Liebherr STS crane to join its fleet. The STS crane has an outreach of 51.5 m, a safe working load of 62.5 tonnes under twinlift spreader and a lift height over the rail of 40 m. The crane can handle vessels with up to 20 rows of containers.
A similar Liebherr STS crane will be installed at HPC Ukrania, a new deepwater container terminal at Quarintine Mole, Odessa. The STS crane has an outreach of 54.5 m, a lift height over the rail of 41.5 m and a safe working load of 65 tonnes under twin lift spreader. Like the STS crane in Argentina, the cranes will be capable of serving vessels with up to 20 rows of containers.
The Port of Manzanillo on the Pacific coast of Mexico also needs to handle larger container vessels. As a result, Mexican terminal operator Operadora de la Cuenca del Pacifico (OCUPA), is has ordered a Terex Gottwald Model 8 Mobile Harbour Crane to expand its capacity. The Model 8 can load and unload vessels with 8,800 TEU and nine-high container stacks on deck. It has a boom pivot point at a height of more than 34 m and a viewing height of almost 38 m. The crane has a 100 tonne hoist and a ten-axle chassis.
Updating and modifying existing cranes at ports are another way that terminals can handle larger container ships. MSC Home Terminal, the largest container terminal in the port of Antwerp, Belgium has increased its ports handling capabilities by raising the height of six quay cranes. The project was completed by Kalmar, part of Cargotec.
Speaking on the modification, Gert Jan Doornewaard, vice president of Kalmar Global Crane Services said, "Crane modification offers a solution to ports who need to increase their container handling capacity relatively quickly. With the ever-increasing capacity of container ships, quay cranes need the additional hoisting height and often boom reach too in order to off load containers.”
To carry out the modifications, the hoisting height of the quay cranes was increased from 38 m to 42 m above quay level. The technique involved jacking the crane and inserting a structure just below the cross girders. To maintain rigidity, the sill beam was strengthened and bracers were installed at the waterside portal frame. This process enabled the crane height to be increased by 4 m. All modifications were completed within a 12 month time frame.
During the project, essential maintenance work to the cranes was also undertaken to minimise production downtime. Hugo Borré, technical manager at MSC Home Terminal, explains why, "It is vital that our operations continue to work at maximum efficiency. Also, the ability to handle the larger vessels that are coming through is a critical factor. We decided to increase the height of six quay cranes to match the 42 m hoisting capacity of several existing cranes.”
Disturbance to quayside operations was minimised throughout the project as the cranes were transported by self propelled modular transporters (SPMT) to a designated construction site. Once modified, the cranes were then transported back to their original positions on the quay.
Like many ports, Freeport Container Port (FCP), part of Hutchison Port Holdings, is taking an environmentally friendly approach to its terminal expansion. A result of this has been an order for 10 Terex NSC 634 E ECO straddle carriers. The straddle carriers, which will be in operation at the FCP terminal on Grand Bahama Island, can stack 9 foot 6 inches (xx m) high-cube containers 1-over-2 and have lifting capacities of up to 60 tonnes under the spreader. For reduced fuel consumption and exhaust emissions the carrier has a hybrid drive system, consisting of both a diesel-powered generator and electrostatic short-term storage media.
Guido Luini, managing director at Terex Port Solutions in Würzburg, Germany, explains the benefits of the straddle carriers, “Electric energy offers the best efficiency rating, high potential for deploying more energy-efficient technologies and the full advantage of renewable energy sources. This is why, wherever it makes sense, TPS cargo handling machines are offered with solutions for using power from the harbour mains.
“For our mobile machines, such as straddle carriers, which cannot be hooked up to external power, we offer drive variants with hybrid technology based on diesel-electric systems. In its latest development, TPS has produced battery-powered automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for horizontal container transport.”