SC Ports Logo

176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail:


Departure of Diesel Cranes Signals Cleaner Port Operations in Charleston

Charleston, SC - This weekend, four 1980s-era, diesel-powered cranes will depart Charleston Harbor, eliminating tons of related air emissions at the dock and signaling cleaner port operations at the Port of Charleston.

The four new, super post-Panamax cranes that replaced the older models are powered by electric power rather than diesel fuel, providing significant environmental benefits.

The old diesel cranes, which were the first dockside cranes commissioned at the S.C. State Ports Authority's (SCSPA) Wando Welch Terminal in 1981 and 1982, will begin their more than 6,000-mile voyage to APM Terminal's facility at the Port of Apapa in Lagos, Nigeria.

Cargotec Services USA Inc. of Mount Pleasant removed the cranes from their previous locations at the Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals and loaded them onto the barge CHICAGO BRIDGE. A crew of up to 50 worked to modify the cranes and prepare them for transport. The cranes legs were extended to fit the width of the tracks in Lagos. The tugboat AMERICAN PATRIOT will haul the barge to Nigeria..

The cranes were built by Canron Corp. of West Columbia, SC for $11.3 million in the early 1980s. Two of the cranes were at the dock to work the first ship at the Wando Welch Terminal, the DART ATLANTICA on November 12, 1981..

This equipment replacement is just one part of the SCSPA's ongoing efforts to reduce port-related air emissions. Other initiatives include a comprehensive air emissions inventory of the Charleston region, the switch to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for all on-terminal equipment, and guidelines in all SCSPA contractor bid documents to reduce air impacts..

Operationally, the newest cranes are much larger, faster and better able to serve the ships calling Charleston today. The new cranes, built by ZPMC in China, stand more than 60 feet taller, can lift cargo weighing 60% more, and are almost twice as fast as the Canron cranes.