Baltic Container Terminal (BCT) in the Port of Riga has received a ship-to-shore (STS) crane from Sany, after the parties worked with Latvian and Chinese authorities to facilitate the deployment of engineers during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
The STS454701 unit marks the second large STS crane that BCT has purchased from Sany since 2014, as it looks to cater to its growing business.
Following the crane’s arrival in May 2020, BCT requested that the crane be installed immediately, after which the manufacturer organised a team of five senior engineers from China.
However, travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic meant there was no way the team of engineers could enter Latvia at the time.
Sany contacted the Latvian Embassy in China to explain the situation, while BCT communicated with the Latvian ministry of commerce, ministry of interior and other national departments to apply for approval.
Following talks, the Latvian government granted special entry permits and the Embassy granted Schengen visas, making it possible to deploy the engineers.
Further issues arose as there was no direct flight from China to Latvia so the personnel had to transfer from Germany first. Yet, because of the pandemic control regulations, the engineers were not allowed to pass through German customs and enter the transit zone.
The only solution was for the engineers to arrive at Frankfurt airport and then use a special route for private jets to reach Latvia, thus exceeding expected costs.
Once they arrived in Riga, the engineers worked to restore, adjust and debug the STS crane before the machine passed its 24 hour durability test in July.