Ports of Auckland is ordering three new container cranes from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC) for delivery in late 2018 as part of plans to add automated processes to the terminal and almost double its capacity.
The cranes will travel from Shanghai to New Zealand cranes to serve Ports of Auckland's new deep-water container berth at the north end of Fergusson container terminal.
Wayne Thompson, Deputy Chief Executive, said: “The investment we are making at our terminal, in new equipment and automation, will allow us to significantly increase our capacity.
“Projects underway or planned will increase capacity from 900,000 TEUs a year currently to around 1.6 –1.7 million TEUs, enough to cater for the needs of an Auckland population of over 2.5 million.
“With further investment we estimate that on our existing land area we can handle up to 3 million TEUs, catering for an Auckland population of 5 million people.”
The new cranes are part of Ports of Auckland’s strategy to grow its container throughput while respecting Aucklanders' desire to protect the Waitematā harbour.
Safety is also an important consideration in the design of the new cranes.
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In a New Zealand first, they will come fitted with lashing platforms that will automated quayside twistlock handling so that the ports’ dock workers no longer work on the ground next to heavy machinery.
The port’s existing cranes will also be retrofitted with lashing platforms.
Thompson added: “The new cranes will be able to carry up to four containers at once, so we will be able to load and unload ships 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 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.”
“With the arrival of the new cranes at the terminal next year, we will no longer need the old container cranes on Bledisloe wharf and they will be removed in due course.
“With the efficiency gains we have made over the last six years, we no longer need a second container terminal.”