Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Crane Maker Takes Biggest Ever Port Handling Equipment Order

Record Return for Supplying US Deep Water Container Freight Facility
Shipping News Feature
FINLAND – US – Just a week after announcing delivery of its 1000th rubber tyred gantry crane, Finnish based port handling equipment manufacturer Konecranes has finalised a $217 million deal with the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) to build and deliver 86 Automated Stacking Cranes (ASCs) that will be at the centre of the port’s expansion projects at its freight container facilities, Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe commented:

“We secured the financing for these projects this summer, the planning and preliminary site-work has started and now we have an agreement in place with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialised cranes to supply the hardware to move containers safely and efficiently across our two primary container terminals.

“Once the construction is done and these cranes are in place and operational, our port will have the capacity to process an additional 1 million containers annually, have the channel depth to handle the biggest ships in the Atlantic trade and double-stack rail service offered by Norfolk Southern and CSX to some of the nation’s most important markets.”

The agreement between Konecranes and the VPA covers two projects. The first is redevelopment of container handling operations at Norfolk International Terminals, which will receive 60 ASCs, and the second is the expansion at Virginia International Gateway which will receive the remaining 26. Delivery begins in 2018 and will continue in phases until 2020. According to Konecranes, with the value of the contracts exceeding €200 million this contract is the largest deal ever won by the Hyvinkää headquartered builder, in its history.

While Konecranes will be providing the cranes, the company will be partnering with Roanoke, Virginia-based TMEIC, which will provide the automation technology that drives the unit. Konecranes and TMEIC have had a long partnership that dates back to the construction of VIG and implementation of Automated Stacking Cranes there. Mika Mahlberg, Senior Vice President, Head of BU Port Cranes, Konecranes, commented:

“Konecranes supplied the Port of Virginia’s current automated stacking crane system in 2007. The concept we developed with the Port of Virginia at the time, the ‘Virginia Concept’, has established itself as the benchmark around the world. Since 2007, every new automated stacking crane container terminal has used the Virginia Concept to a greater or lesser degree.”

Both projects involve the establishment of new automated container handling operations. Konecranes will supply the Automated Stacking Cranes (ASCs) based on Automated Rail Mounted Gantry cranes (ARMGs). The 60 ASCs to NIT will stack containers 1-over-5, 9 containers wide. The 26 to VIG will stack containers 1-over-5, 8 containers wide. Globally, Konecranes has delivered 174 ASCs of the same type in 11 projects. By 2020, the port hopes to have expanded the container handling capacity at VIG by 600,000 units and the capacity at NIT by 400,000 units; the combined cost of the projects being $670 million.