The US port of Jaxport in Jacksonville has finalised a US$37.6m contract to purchase three new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. (ZPMC) for Blount Island Marine Terminal.
With the cranes due to be operation by 2016, ZPMC will deliver and set-up of the units that will significantly increase the terminal’s cargo-handling capability. The Florida Department of Transportation awarded a US$15m grant toward the purchase.
As ships calling on Jaxport through the Suez Canal increase in size and with the expansion of the Panama Canal on the horizon, larger STS cranes are necessary to service larger vessels. The new electric-powered cranes, which will reduce air emissions, will have an outreach of 22 containers across, up from the 16 container reach of Blount Island’s current diesel units.
Berth 35 at Blount Island is being upgraded to handle the new cranes, with the final design for the berth enhancements completed this autumn; a 16-month construction period is expected to start in January 2015.
Jaxport’s long-term strategic plan calls for the purchase of a total of 10 new STS cranes for Blount Island in the next 10 years.