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Transnet buys new equipment for Durban Port

Part of targeted interventions to renew Transnet’s fleet of port handling equipment.

Transnet SOC Ltd today signed an agreement with China-based Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC) for the purchase of seven tandem lift ship-to-shore (STS) cranes for the Durban Container Terminal – Pier 2. This is part of targeted interventions to renew Transnet’s fleet of port handling equipment in an effort to boost efficiency and productivity at South Africa’s flagship Terminal.

The agreement, which was concluded at Transnet’s head office at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg following a competitive tender process, is for the design, manufacture, delivery and commissioning of the seven cranes to replace the Terminal’s ageing infrastructure.

Pier 2, one of the two container terminals in the Port of Durban operated by Transnet Port Terminals, achieved average moves per gross crane hour (GCH) of 23 during the financial year ended March 2011 mainly due to breakdowns in port equipment – straddle carriers and cranes. This average improved to 24,5 GCH during the last quarter of the same year as management interventions began to pay off.

The urgent procurement in terms of Transnet’s accelerated fleet renewal plan will immediately address the terminal’s performance, making Pier 2 the first terminal in Africa to operate tandem lift STS cranes. The tandem lift capability of the cranes, which can simultaneously handle two 12m containers or four 6m containers within hoisting capability of 80 tons, is a significant step towards making Pier 2 a globally competitive terminal as is the case with Pier 1.

Pier 1, which has state-of-the-art equipment, achieved an impressive 29,5 GCH over the  last quarter of the year.

The  purchase of the cranes will result in improved operational efficiencies and reduced  service times. The cranes are also designed to suit the future  deepened north quay berths  of Pier 2 and be able to easily service the new generation megamax container vessels.

The cranes, to be manufactured in China, will be installed during the 2012/13 financial year. In line with Transnet’s commitment to Government’s Competitive Supplier Development Programme, the agreement has a significant localisation component which includes job creation, skills development and localisation. This will include partnering with a local partner for the manufacture of crane spares locally and for the provision of after sales support and maintenance.

CSDP, which is led by the Department of Public Enterprises, is an initiative designed to boost the local component of imported goods by encouraging original equipment manufacturers to partner with local suppliers.

The purchase of the cranes is in addition to the implementation of a Terminal  Operating  System, NAVIS Sparcs N4, which will enable  enhanced vessel and terminal  planning to further boost efficiency at the terminal.

Furthermore, Transnet has  recently  acquired 28 new diesel-electric straddle carriers, 14 of which  have twin lift capability. We have begun taking delivery of some of the parts, with the last batch due at the end of December this year.

The purchase is part of Transnet’s R110,6 billion infrastructure investment programme for the next five years which is funded on the strength of its balance sheet. In addition to the purchase of new equipment for Pier 2, the programme includes capacity expansion for the Cape Town Container Terminal from 700 000 TEUs per annum to 1,4 million TEUs.    

In Cape Town, Transnet  reached another milestone when the new truck entrance and staging area was officially opened at the Cape Town Container Terminal. This is a significant milestone for the port users, as it will alleviate truck congestion from Duncan Road, located within the Port of Cape Town.  

The new truck entrance comprises four lanes and a fifth for abnormal cargo, compared with the original two lanes. In addition, the trucks will now be serviced from kiosks located adjacent to each lane, resulting in a quicker and safer service.

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