High productivity with a new concept crane



Paul Duponcheele, Technical General Manager, Grup TCB, Barcelona, Spain


Grup TCB, through its subsidiary TCEEGE in Turkey, commenced operation of the container terminal situated in Nemrut Bay, close to Izmir, in 2009. In Turkey, jetty piers 25 to 40 metres wide are standard, allowing vessels to be berthed on both sides. This explains why jetties are operated mainly by means of mobile harbour cranes (MHC), and this is how TCEEGE began to offer its services to the shipping lines. A MHC is a flexible machine, which can achieve good productivity in small feeder vessels, up to 20 moves per hour, and can shift easily from one side of the pier to the other. However, the MHC has to face many disadvantages compared with ship-to-shore gantry cranes (STS) as regards to productivity, as STS cranes aim for 30 moves per hour.

Placement considerations

When you handle containers on a jetty pier, traffic jams are an issue to be considered, as you have a bi-directional flow of terminal tractor (TT); and hatch covers must be placed properly to minimise disturbance. Also, considering the space needed by a MHC, it is easy to see that there is a limit of placing up to four MHC on a jetty; otherwise congestion might occur. Thus, due to the cascade effect of the container vessels in the Aegean area, and concern with offering higher productivity to its clients, Grup TCB raises the following question: how best to place STS cranes on a jetty? The first idea consisted of placing STS cranes on both sides of the jetty, which meant removing the back reach of these cranes, as they will need to pass each other in a back-to-back configuration. As every deployment has to be done in phases, Grup TCB's first thought was to place two STS cranes with no back reach on one side of the jetty, and operate on the other side with its current Liebherr MHC LHM 500. In a second phase, it was planned to widen the jetty from 40 to 57 metres to fit two additional STS cranes on the other side. Thus, in its final phase of deployment, TCEEGE would have up to four STS cranes, two on each side of the jetty. On the previous drawing, it can be seen that the hatch cover (limited to 12 metres) would be placed on a platform situated above the portal beam of the crane, producing a fluid traffic flow. However, a new drawback arose, related to capital expenditure. Widening a jetty along 350 metres requires a considerable amount of money, without forgetting that even if the terminal is willing to widen the jetty, its handling activity would be close to saturation. Then it starts to be a concern to have one side of the jetty not available while the construction is going on.

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