New cranes to boost Durban harbour

8 September 2011

South African state company Transnet has signed an agreement with Chinese firm Shanghai Zenhua Heavy Industries for the purchase of seven tandem lift ship-to-shore cranes for the Durban Container Terminal’s Pier 2.

Transnet is in the process of renewing its fleet of port handling equipment in an effort to boost efficiency and productivity at Durban, South Africa’s flagship port. Pier 1 of the port has already been refitted with state-of-the art equipment.

The tandem lift capability of the cranes, which can simultaneously handle two 12m containers or four 6m containers together weighing up to 80 tons, is a significant step towards making Pier 2 a globally competitive terminal as is the case with Pier 1.

“The purchase of the cranes will result in improved operational efficiencies and reduced service times,” Transnet said in a statement this week.

The cranes are also designed to suit the future deepened north quay berths of Pier 2 and be able to easily service the new generation megamax container vessels.

Supplier development component

The cranes, to be manufactured in China, will be installed during the 2012/13 financial year.

“In line with Transnet’s commitment to [the] government’s Competitive Supplier Development Programme (CSDP), the agreement has a significant localisation component which includes job creation, skills development and localisation,” the company said.

This will include partnering with a local partner for the manufacture of crane spares locally and for the provision of after sales support and maintenance.

The CSDP, which is led by the Department of Public Enterprises, is an initiative designed to boost the local component of imported goods by encouraging original equipment manufacturers to partner with local suppliers.

The purchase of the cranes is in addition to the implementation of a new Terminal Operating System, NAVIS Sparcs N4, which will enable enhanced vessel and terminal planning to further boost efficiency at the terminal.

Furthermore, Transnet has recently acquired 28 new diesel-electric straddle carriers, 14 of which have twin lift capability. “We have begun taking delivery of some of the parts, with the last batch due at the end of December this year,” the company said.

Upgrades at Cape Town harbour

The purchases form part of Transnet’s R110.6-billion infrastructure investment programme for the next five years, which is funded on the strength of its balance sheet.

In addition to the purchase of new equipment for Pier 2, the programme includes capacity expansion for the Cape Town Container Terminal from 700 000 TEUs per annum to 1.4-million TEUs.

In Cape Town, Transnet reached another milestone when the new truck entrance and staging area was officially opened at the Cape Town Container Terminal.

The new truck entrance comprises four lanes and a fifth for abnormal cargo, compared with the original two lanes. In addition, the trucks will now be serviced from kiosks located adjacent to each lane, resulting in a quicker and safer service.

“This is a significant milestone for the port users, as it will alleviate truck congestion from Duncan Road, located within the Port of Cape Town,” Transnet said.

SAinfo reporter

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