Huge cranes due at port

FELIXSTOWE: Two more giant quayside cranes – the biggest of their kind in the world – are due to arrive at Felixstowe tomorrow.

The �10million-plus consignment is the latest stage in the �250m development of the new deep-water berths on land reclaimed from the harbour and the site of the old Dock Basin and P&O ferry terminal at the southern end of the port.

As well as the two new high-rise cranes, the ZMPC vessel Zhen Hua 8 will also be carrying three rubber-tyred gantry cranes to work in the container storage yards.

The vessel is due to berth at noon and shipspotters at Landguard Point should get a really good view of the cranes as they are brought in.

They are due to be unloaded next week and will go alongside the three which arrived earlier this year.

A further two are expected early in the new year.

The cranes have been built by Zhenhua Port Machinery Company of Shanghai and have been welded to the decks of the special transporter ship during their eight-week voyage from China to keep them safe through rough seas.

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They are the largest of their type in the world and capable of handling future generations of container ships which will have containers stowed 24-wide on their decks.

Each crane weighs approximately 2,000 tonnes and is capable of lifting two containers simultaneously up to a total of 70 tonnes.

Head of corporate affairs at the port, Paul Davey said after they are unloaded, work would start on commissioning – checking them over and installing communications systems.

This work could take several months.

“Commissioning work has been taking place on the three which arrived earlier and they should be operational fairly soon,” he said.

The first phase of the expansion is due to be fully up and running next year, but the second part – another stretch of quay plus the dualling of a section of the Ipswich-Felixstowe rail line – has been put on hold for eight years.

n Are you pleased at the investment Hutchison Ports is making in the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email

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