Peel Ports And ZPMC Formalise Multi Million Cranes Deal
Plans for the new deep-water port Liverpool2 took a step forward this month as a multi-million pound contract was signed at a formal ceremony in Shanghai between Peel Ports and engineering firm Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. (ZPMC).
ZPMC is supplying eight ship-to-shore (STS) megamax quay cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) as part of the Liverpool2 project at the Port of Liverpool. As well as signing the £100million contract, Peel Ports’ Chief Executive Mark Whitworth toured ZPMC’s engineering facilities at Changxing and Nantong as part of a two-day visit to China.
Peel Ports Group is investing over £300million in the Liverpool2 development which will be able to accommodate 95% of the world’s container fleet, including the post-Panamax vessels that will travel through the expanded Panama Canal when it opens in 2015.
The combined handling capacity of the STS cranes and CRMGs will dramatically increase the ports’ productivity and efficiency, delivering major benefits and cost savings for customers using the Port of Liverpool as their UK gateway.
The deal will create a total of 500 direct jobs and for every one of these up to an additional five indirect jobs could also be created. Furthermore, ZPMC has chosen to site its UK service centre in Liverpool, to coincide with the arrival of the cranes in 2015.
Mr Whitworth said: “This signing represents a significant investment for the long term and the most important investment at Port of Liverpool in the last 20 years. It will help position Liverpool2 as one of the fastest most efficient container ports in the world, allowing over 90% of the global fleet to be handled at Liverpool, making it a real game changer for shipping lines.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here in Shanghai to sign this important agreement with ZPMC because it is a significant part of the transformation of Port of Liverpool. ZPMC are doing much more than supplying cranes. They are helping us to deliver a project aimed at changing the logistics flows in the UK, where the Port of Liverpool is currently the third largest container port and strategically important to trade with China.”
The ZPMC equipment will enable the port to handle two 380m vessels simultaneously with an anticipated 1,500 moves in each tidal window. With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail.
The fleet of STS and CRMG cranes will be supported by state-of-the-art quayside facilities, best in class port and logistics solutions, including a fully integrated Navis N4 terminal operating system, AutoGate and ABB equipment controls. Specialist engineers will provide round-the-clock operational support to ensure proactive and real-time service and maintenance, ensuring maximum productivity from the Liverpool2 terminal at all times.
On a recent visit to the Port of Liverpool, Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the Liverpool2 investment as a means of offering businesses a way to move their goods to market faster and more efficiently to the north of the UK, bypassing southern ports such as Southampton and Tilbury.
Mr Whitworth added: “Liverpool2 has a considerable advantage over its competitors as it has 10 motorways located within 10miles and is uniquely connected to the Manchester Ship Canal, which stretches 44 miles from the Port of Liverpool to Manchester, connecting deep sea cargo with the inland container hubs.
“Logistically cargo can be moved much more fuel and carbon efficiently. Very few other terminal operators in the UK have such connectivity, and these combined services offer some of the best value door-to-door shipping costs that cargo owners will find.”