The new cranes will be manufactured by Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) of Shanghai and delivered in May 2009. They join four super post-Panamax gantries already on order that will be delivered in November 2008, and will bring the port’s complement of such cranes to 25 in total.
The eight new cranes will have the ability to reach containers stacked 23 across on deck, allowing them to service the largest vessels in the world. They will play an important role in meeting growing customer demand at the port and at the same time will ensure greater efficiency and faster vessel turnaround times. Total investment in new port equipment at Salalah amounts to US$112m. Other equipment will include four mobile harbour cranes, 10 new spreaders with twin-lift capability and 11 additional RTGs.
Salalah is situated directly on the major east–west shipping lanes and is one of the fastest-growing terminals in the West Central Asia region. The opening of its fifth deepwater berth in May 2007 and the recent completion of Berth 6 has boosted its capacity from 2.5m teu in 2006 to 4.5m teu in 2008, before the current expansion. The Port is a joint venture between AP Moller-Maersk, the Government of Oman and other Omani investors.
“To ensure continued success we must make necessary long-term investments. Our business growth makes it important for us to increase available capacity in order to maintain our consistently high-quality service to our customers as our throughput continues to increase,” said Gary Lemke, CEO of the Port of Salalah.