3 March 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
- Port of Cork’s Deepwater Capabilities Come to the Fore
- Overseas Heavy Transport Ship ‘Albatross’ moves to Port of Cork’s Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth for Ballasting Operations
Three new, ship-to-shore container cranes manufactured in Ireland by Liebherr and assembled in Cork Harbour are scheduled for delivery to Crowley Puerto Rico Services’ Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan later this month.
The cranes which are currently on board the Overseas Heavy Transport (OHT) vessel ‘Albatross’, transferred from Cork Dockyard to the Port of Cork’s Deepwater berth in Ringaskiddy to take on ballast before departure to San Juan. Each crane has a capacity of 65 tons and measure approximately 65 meters tall, with an outreach of 40 meters.
Video by Aidan Fleming (Port of Cork)
Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth is capable of handling vessels of this size and providing a fast and efficient turnaround of such vessels. Before the ‘Albatross’ departs, it will share the berth with the weekly Maersk container service from Central America, bringing the overall length of both vessels alongside to 414 metres.
Speaking about the Port of Cork’s capabilities as a “Tier 1 port of national significance” and a naturally deep water port, Commercial Manager Captain Michael McCarthy said: The Port of Cork is delighted to partner with Liebherr Cranes in selecting our Ringaskiddy Deepwater port to export their cranes to World markets. We have had an excellent relationship with Liebherr since the early 1990’s when we commissioned two cranes for our facility in Ringaskiddy. Since then we have grown our relationship with the company and all our port cranes are manufactured by Liebherr.’
He continued: ‘It is great to see Liebherr recognising our exporting capability as a deep water port.’
While in Ringaskiddy the OHT vessel, which was originally designed as an oil tanker and converted to a crane carrier, will take on large volume of water ballast in the lower ballast tanks to counteract the weight of the cranes on deck. Each crane weighs approx. 900 tons; however the weight is evenly distributed on the main deck of the vessel. The cranes are then secured firmly (welded) to the deck of the vessel and as such they form a single composite unit.
According to John Hourihan Jr., Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico Services, the electric-powered cranes will be used to load and discharge containerized cargo being carried aboard Crowley’s two new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, Commitment Class Con-Ro ships.
He said: “With these state-of-the-art cranes now erected, we are taking another step toward the transformation of our terminal into the most modern and efficient port facility on the island of Puerto Rico. We eagerly await their arrival here.”