FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC – A ship carrying four massive new container cranes arrived in Charleston Harbor yesterday afternoon. The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) paid the more than $35 million price tag for the cranes and associated electrical and engineering services from internal funds and did not use any taxpayer dollars.
ZPMC of China constructed the cranes. The ship, ZHEN HUA 19, departed Shanghai in January for a 15,000-mile voyage to Charleston around the tip of Africa.
The new cranes operate solely off of electric power, replacing four older, diesel-electric models. They use power when lifting, but generate back into the system when lowering. Of the 21 cranes in the port's fleet, 20 are all-electric, which have eliminated emissions and provided an environmental benefit.
The cranes were purchased in September of 2005, when the Board of Directors of the South Carolina State Ports Authority approved the largest single equipment purchase in the agency's history. Also included in the $64 million investment were 16 rubber tire gantry cranes (RTGs) already installed and in operation at the SCSPA's Wando Welch Terminal.
Two cranes will be installed at the Wando Welch Terminal, and two are going to North Charleston Terminal. Once the cranes are moved onto the terminals, engineers will raise their booms, finalize construction and run tests on the equipment. The cranes should be fully operational within 90 days.
Click on the thumbnails below to see full-size photos of the new Port of Charleston cranes: