FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC - Two new container cranes arrived in the Port of Charleston on Sunday afternoon, representing the crown jewels in a $47-million, six-year terminal improvement project at the Columbus Street Terminal.
The new cranes cost $6 million apiece and weigh more than 1,200 tons each. When boomed up, they rise 360 feet in the air and will reach out 197 feet from the edge of the dock.
Over the coming months, the cranes will be tested and placed into service on a new container berth at Columbus Street, Charleston's smallest container terminal. The 1,000-foot berth was created by demolishing an old warehouse and improving the wharf area. Other work in recent years at Columbus Street included improving storage, new container stacking cranes in the yard, dredging and revamped terminal infrastructure. Columbus Street is the Port's closest terminal to the open ocean, featuring unobstructed navigational access and 45-foot channels.
The new cranes are designed to lift containers to and from ships that are too wide for the Panama Canal, featuring an outreach of 22 containers across the deck of ships. Currently, the largest ships in the world have 17 containers abreast.
The Ports Authority ordered the cranes from Paceco Corp. 17 months ago. They were built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries and left the Port of Ulsan on August 22, sailing around the tip of South Africa. The ship is carrying two other cranes for the Port of Philadelphia.
The new cranes will run on electric power, as opposed to older generation diesel-electric cranes that generate additional air pollution. And Charleston's new cranes are the first container cranes in the United States to feature 100% AC power systems, which is designed to minimize maintenance and operating costs. The Ports Authority specified this requirement.
The two new container cranes are the Port's largest and fastest to date. While similar in size to the four newest cranes delivered to the Wando Welch Terminal in 2000, the new cranes have a much larger lifting capacity, hoisting up to 65 tons of cargo under the spreader bar, as opposed to 40 tons.
Key customers at Columbus Street are COSCO, K-Line, Yang-Ming and Hanjin. In addition, Atlanticargo recently moved from the North Charleston Terminal to Columbus Street.
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