Two brand new giant quay cranes, some of the biggest in the UK and almost as tall as the London Eye, will take up position at Southampton port’s container terminal.
The new cranes are part of a major investment by terminal operator and owner DP World, to ensure the port can continue to handle the UK’s vital import and export trade with the rest of the world.
The two 129.8 metre high, 1,500 tonne electric cranes also generate their own electricity when the container boxes they lift off the vessels descend onto the quay. This helps power the cranes with any surplus electricity being sent back to the port electricity grid.
The quay cranes are a vital investment for the container terminal as vessels continue to get bigger.
Nick Loader, Chief Operating Officer, DP World UK, said:
“With bigger vessels, discharging and loading more boxes on each call we need to invest in our infrastructure and equipment if we want to remain competitive. These quay cranes have a 24 container-wide outreach which gives us greater flexibility to handle higher stows.
“Our customers’ vessels are not only getting bigger but greener and more efficient too. The newest container ships to call here have engines that can be powered by LNG (liquid natural gas) to comply with new international maritime emission standards.”
The new quay cranes arrived at the port earlier this year in large meccano-like sections. Over the last few months, a team of expert engineers have been assembling them onsite. Then, the team will start the two-day process of moving both cranes on to the operational quay. They will be raised up off the ground on to large caterpillar-like trailers and then an engineer with a sophisticated remote control unit will walk with the cranes, slowly guiding them through the terminal into position.
Final tests and safety checks will then be conducted before they become operational and able to handle the imminent arrival of another record-breaking container vessel to visit the terminal.