Ports of Auckland has placed an order for three new container cranes, to be delivered in late 2018. The cranes will be used on Ports of Auckland’s new deep-water container berth at the north end of Fergusson container terminal.
“Container volumes continue to show healthy growth, in line with the economic and population growth of Auckland,” says deputy chief executive Wayne Thompson. “For that reason we are investing in our people and infrastructure to ensure we can continue to meet the growing needs of Auckland and the Upper North Island. The new cranes are part of our strategy to grow our container throughput while respecting Aucklanders’ desire to protect the Waitemata Harbour. It is a sustainable solution.”
Thompson says the new cranes will be able to carry up to four containers at once, so loading and unloading of ships will be faster.
“The new berth they will be installed on is our deepest, so this will become our premium berth able to handle the biggest ships with higher productivity.”
The investment Ports of Auckland is making in new equipment and automation at the terminal will significantly increase the port’s capacity. Projects underway or planned will increase capacity from 900,000 TEUs a year currently to about 1.6 –1.7 million TEUs, enough to cater for the needs of an Auckland population of more than 2.5 million. Thompson says with further investment they estimate that on their existing land area they can handle up to 3 million TEUs, catering for an Auckland population of 5 million people.
“Safety has been an important consideration in the design of these new cranes. In a New Zealand first, they will come fitted with ‘lashing platforms’ so that our people no longer have to work on the ground next to heavy machinery, reducing risk. Lashing platforms will also be retrofitted to our existing cranes, and we will also improve driver ergonomics by using a better seat design.”
The cranes come fitted with a number of features to reduce energy consumption, as well as a 26kW solar power system to offset mains power consumption.
Once the new cranes arrive next year, Thompson says the old container cranes on Bledisloe wharf will no longer be needed, and will be removed.
“With the efficiency gains we have made over the past six years, we no longer need a second container terminal.”
The cranes will be built in Shanghai by equipment manufacturing company, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co. (ZPMC).