Mammoth container crane goes smoothly

Jun 3, 2004
Author: P&S

Imagine moving a 16-storey building a distance of 57 metres. This is effectively what South African Port Operations (SAPO) staff at the Durban Container Terminal are doing this week as they carefully move an 880 tonne 65-meter high Noell quayside crane (crane 512) into an empty stacking area, so that a damaged crane (511) can be pushed along the (shared) rails, and repaired.

Technicians and special equipment from the Noell crane manufacturers in Germany with local partners CPS Projects carefully jacked the massive 16-storey high crane 512 up to knee level and placed it onto well-oiled skids. Then floating it on a thin layer of nitrogen gas, the crane was slowly inched away from the quayside by means of long hydraulic rams.

Once out of the way, crane 511 was moved along on its rails to an area where it will be repaired and restored to service as soon as possible.

Joe Madlala, acting Business Unit Manager at the Durban Container Terminal said: "This is an unusual project which went off smoothly and we expect crane 512 to be back in operation by Friday.

"Since crane 511 was damaged, it has been hampering the flexible operation of the cranes on either side of it because the cranes can't move past each other. We therefore decided to move it to another site for repair."

"During the week long process delays have been kept to a minimum as shipping lines were pre-warned and were able to take appropriate action. We are now able to move the serviceable cranes freely along the quay - which had not been the case while the damaged crane was trapped between working cranes. This will benefit our operations and the service to our customers," he said.

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