Belfast Harbour has invested £3m in the world’s largest hydraulic crane to enhance its cargo handling capacity.
The 370 tonne crane can manage individual lifts of up to 50 tonnes. Manufactured in Finland, the ‘Mantsinen 300M’ offers additional flexibility and capacity for Belfast Harbour which handles over 23m tonnes of cargo annually.
At almost 40m high, the crane will be the largest of its kind operating in any British or Irish port, and can unload and load multiple types of cargo. It is designed to discharge up to 1,000 tonnes of bulk cargo such as grain or animal feed per hour.
Trevor Anderson, Operations Director, Belfast Harbour, said: “In the past 10 years Belfast Harbour has invested £30m in new cranes to enhance the efficiency and productivity of our quayside operations.
“The Harbour is the first business in the UK and Ireland to invest in what is the largest crane of its kind in the world. The extra capacity, longer reach and overall versatility will significantly enhance our cargo-handling portfolio. It will also improve vessel turnaround times for customers importing and exporting from the Harbour.”
The order for the new crane, which is due to be delivered in spring 2019, is being managed by Cooper Specialised Handling. The firm’s Director, David Cooper, added: “Belfast Harbour should be commended for investing in the latest handling technology. In the past, rope-styled cranes were the only option for handling bulk cargoes and larger vessels, but that has changed thanks to the new generation of hydraulic cranes now available.
“The faster productivity, precise control plus the ability to handle cargo directly without the need for stevedores to operate in person in ships’ holds brings huge operational advantages.”