State-owned freight and logistics group Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) achieved another significant milestone in its ongoing investment in South Africa’s ports with the arrival of four new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and 18 rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes, which are worth a total of R744-million, in March.
“TPT is excited to have taken delivery of this new equipment as these acquisitions demonstrate that we are serious about delivering on our commitment to our customers, to significantly reinvest in our infrastructure and equipment,” states TPT CEO Karl Socikwa.
German equipment manufacturer Liebherr manufactured the four STS and 18 RTG cranes for TPT’s Ngqura Container Terminal (NCT), which is located at the mouth of the Coega river in Algoa Bay, about 20 km north-east of Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape.
The new STS cranes have an outreach of 65 m, a span of 30.48 m and a back reach of 19 m. The cranes have a lift height of 41 m and are capable of lifting a 65 t load under a twin lift spreader.
Additionally, the STS cranes have been upgraded to handle the new line of 18 000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vessels, with a reach of up to 24 rows across.
Liebherr says that the new RTG cranes were designed for NCT and will span seven containers and a truck lane, and can stack up to five containers high.
“The RTG crane’s features include a differential global positioning system, auto steering and container location recognition systems. The RTG cranes will also interface with a terminal operating system, thereby providing companies with container location and weight information,” adds Liebherr.
Further, Liebherr highlights that in its effort to improve safety standards, each RTG crane has been fitted with an ultrasonic anti-collision system and that cameras have been fitted to each crane, which monitor travel in both directions, with a direct feed sent to monitors, in the driver’s cabin.
Liebherr’s eight-rope reeving anti-sway system is installed as standard and eliminates sway, even under windy conditions, thereby providing a 30% to 40% increase in sway elimination as compared to alternative models.
“The RTG cranes are also fitted with our dual speed drive system to reduce noise levels, emissions and fuel consumption. These are the first of their kind to be supplied to TPT,” Liebherr points out.
Moreover, he notes that its STS cranes are always configured to suit customer's individual requirements.
The STS crane’s features include, a 70 m/min to 175 m/min high-hoist and 240 m/min trolley speeds, simultaneous hoisting, trolley travelling and gantry travel.
STS cranes can also undertake twin lift operations of up to 65 t and tandem lift operations up to 80 t.
Meanwhile, Socikwa says that the use of local manufacturing and local businesses has been a key consideration in the procurement of the equipment.
“Liebherr Africa supplied the four new STS cranes, two of which will go to the NCT’s operations in Port Elizabeth and two to the Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT), in the Western Cape,” he explains, adding that the assembly and installation of all the equipment will be undertaken by eight local companies.
Socikwa explains that the new STS cranes form part of TPT’s strategy to increase local ports capacity to service larger calling vessels, and to improve overall port efficiencies.
Further, TPT procurement GM Ntombeziningi Shezi stresses that it was important for TPT to consider local manufacturing, as it is an issue that the group takes seriously.
“We are proud to note that the steel structures for the RTG cranes’ gantries were made at Liebherr Africa’s facilities in Johannesburg, Newcastle and Durban,” she enthuses.
Shezi says that the procurement of the machines has been accompanied by detailed supplier development initiatives, which will ensure a further R193-million is invested in the local economy.
“This amount is broken down as follows: R120-million in post-sales service and maintenance by local companies, R27.7-million for skills transfer initiatives, R26.5-million for job creation and preservation, R13.6-million in intellectual property and technology transfer initiatives and R5-million for small business promotion,” she explains.
Moreover, Socikwa highlights that the CTCT is currently undergoing a R5.4- billion upgrade and when all four berths and the new cranes are installed, the port’s capacity will increase to 1.4-million TEU.
He adds that the NCT is already in its second phase of a R1.1-billion port terminal development, which will see it grow from two to three berths and increase its capacity to 1.5-million TEU.
“TPT continues to invest across its terminals to ensure growth and the sustainability of the country’s commercial imports and exports,” Socikwa concludes.