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New crane heralds a change on Townsville's horizon

2 December 2020

Move over Sugar Shaker, there is a new giant in town.
 
Assembly of the first ship-to-shore crane purchased by the Port of Townsville since the 1970s is now underway. 
 
The Liebherr Super Post Panamax Ship-to-Shore crane is the final component of the Port’s $30 million upgrade to its multi-user cargo handling facility. Once assembled, the crane will stand almost 100m high, dwarfing Townsville’s current tallest structure, the Grand Chancellor Hotel, by approximately 24m.
 
Painted in the Port of Townsville’s blue and gold corporate colours the crane will cut a striking figure on the city’s skyline.  It also offers superior handling ability, with the capability to lift two 20-foot shipping containers at once equating to 70 tonnes.

Port of Townsville Infrastructure and Environment General Manager Marissa Wise said the assembly of the ship-to-shore crane would support up to 15 full-time jobs for locals during construction.
 
“Contractors from Townsville-based Universal Cranes will support the assembly, which will take several months, and include positioning the crane on the wharf and completing a series of safety and operational checks,” said Ms Wise.
 
An open tender process was conducted before appointing a supplier.   With only a handful of companies worldwide manufacturing this type of crane, and none in Australia, the contract was awarded to Liebherr. The Port of Townsville has worked closely with Liebherr’s manufacturing team in Ireland to ensure the new crane provides optimal benefits for the Port, local stevedores and Port users from across Northern Australia.
 
“The new crane will increase berth capacity by around 20 per cent, greatly improving loading and unloading time for vessels servicing our region,” said Ms Wise.
 
“Combined with the Port’s Berth 4 wharf upgrade completed in 2018 and the Container and Cargo Terminal opened earlier this year, the crane will enable growth and handling efficiencies in containerised cargo, general cargo and project cargo.
 
“Investments like this one are vital for optimising the Port’s assets to ensure we keep up with Queensland’s growing freight demands and prepare for the larger vessels the Port will be able to accommodate following completion of the Channel Upgrade project in 2023.’’
 
The crane is expected to be ready for use by April 2021.