New crane arrives safely

VIDEO Another new crane has been delivered to Britain's biggest port - with bosses hoping this one doesn't cause as much trouble as the last.

ANOTHER new crane has been delivered to Britain's biggest port - with bosses hoping this one doesn't cause as much trouble as the last.

The new rail mounted gantry crane arrived on board the massive Zhen Hua 16 from Shanghai.

But the ten-metre high crane, which will work at the port's rail terminal, is nowhere near as big as the huge ship-to-shore cranes which line the quaysides.

Even so, a crowd gathered at the viewing area alongside the Port of Felixstowe to watch the 241-metre 38,000-ton vessel arrive, guided into the harbour by two tugs, which then turned the vessel around before slowly easing it carefully to the quayside at Landguard Terminal.

The crane is to be unloaded over the weekend and the terminal should be ready to re-open to container ships again on Monday morning.

It was at Landguard in March where the Zhen Hua 23, carrying quayside cranes, was ripped from its moorings by gales and the cranes on board smashed into and destroyed two others on the quay.

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The terminal was then closed for weeks as contractors cut up the cranes to be taken away, and other cranes had to be moved across the port to replace the wrecked ones.

Damage was caused to one of the cranes on board the vessel, but the three destined for Felixstowe were unscathed.

Two more ship-to-shore cranes are due in the next few months, part of a consignment this year worth a total of about £20 million from ZPMC in China.

The new cranes are mainly needed to update machines which are beyond their useful life because ships have grown so huge.

Three will replace 1986 Morris cranes, one will replace the crane damaged last year when the 367 metre long Gunvor Maersk lost power, drifted back towards the quay and crashed into it, and the fifth will be an extra, bringing the total number of ship-to-shore cranes at the port to 26.

The new cranes can lift 85 tonnes, and reach across the world's largest vessels with containers stowed in rows 22 wide, compared with 16 wide of the old cranes.

What's the most spectacular ship you've seen at Felixstowe this year? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk