HEAVY LIFTERS: The cranes arrive in Durban by ship. Picture: Roy Reed
Transnet Port Terminals (TPT)hope that the three newly acquired lift cranes delivered to Durban on Tuesday will help improve the turnaround time for vessels docking in Durban harbour.
The company says the state-of-the-art equipment will revive the port and result in improved efficiencies and reduced service times for vessels calling at the terminal as pressure mounts regarding delays at Africa’s busiest port.
The cranes are the first of their kind in Africa and the southern hemisphere.
Welcoming the cranes, the port’s acting chief executive, Pru Archary, said this acquisition would make Durban Container Terminal Pier 2, the first terminal in Africa to operate tandem lift cranes.
“This re-affirms our commitment to delivering world class port services in Africa.”
The three cranes were procured from China as part of a fleet of seven lift cranes intended to renew port handling equipment in an effort to boost South Africa’s flagship port terminal.
Four more cranes will arrive early in the new year.
According to Transnet, these cranes have been designed to add 20 years to the port’s longevity and are capable of servicing the latest generation container vessels with a span of 24 containers across the deck.
“The cranes are fully compatible to service the next generation mega-max vessels that will dock at North Quay once it’s deepened, which is planned for the near future. In addition to the standard twin-lift 20 foot container crane handling operation, DCT’s new STS cranes are able to lift 2x40 foot full containers or 4x20 foot (empty) containers in tandem during vessel operations across the quay. With its 80 ton safe working load, this new dual-hoisting, tandem-lift technology is expected to boost port productivity,” said Transnet.
TPT’s general manager of capital projects, Logan Naidoo, said: “The port has R33bn worth of capital projects planned over the next seven years, with a key focus on upgrading infrastructure at various terminals. The investment in the tandem lift STS cranes, valued at R700m was prioritised as one of TPT’s top 10 capital investment projects.
As part of ensuring that the Chinese supplier of these cranes transfer skill to locals, emerging port equipment spares and maintenance company has partnered with Elgin Marine Services.
In turn, Elgin has employed and will mentor and develop 11 newly graduated engineers from previously disadvantaged communities.