Authorities of the Vizhinjam International Seaport, Thiruvananthapuram, have successfully unloaded all the three cranes from the Zhen Hua 15 project vessel docked at the port.
By Sunday, the authorities had already offloaded two rail-mounted gantry cranes, each weighing 365 tonnes, for the use of yard operations at the port.
The third crane which is a giant rail-mounted quay crane, was unloaded on Tuesday evening. Measuring approximately 100 metres in height and weighing 1620 tonnes, it stands as the largest ship-to-shore crane in the country.
The project vessel Zhen Hua 15, with one quay crane and two yard cranes fabricated in China was idling in the berth since 15 October with the consignment after the formal reception accorded to the ship by the State government.
The offloading of the cranes was initially delayed due to bad weather. It is difficult for the staff to unload the cranes during rough sea conditions.
Further, the immigration limitations imposed on the Chinese crew’s ability to disembark at the port added to the delay in the unloading of the cranes. It was only after the Centre granted permission for two Chinese crew members to disembark from the ship, that the unloading could began.
With the assistance of experts from Mumbai, these crew members successfully carried out the crane unloading operation.
Vizhinjam Port authorities have placed an order for eight Rail Mounted Quay Cranes (RMQC) and 24 Rail Mounted Gantry Cranes (RMGC) to Shanghai-based company, Zhenhua Port Machinery Company Limited (ZPMC).
The Rail Mounted Gantry crane is a specialized crane designed to move shipping containers from one location to another with precision and efficiency. RMG cranes are typically mounted on rails, allowing them to traverse the length of the terminal and position containers at specific storage locations or onto trucks for transport.
On the other hand, the Quay crane is a type of large dockside gantry crane found at container terminals for loading and unloading container to and from container ships, respectively.
The Quay crane to be employed at Vizhinjam Port are of Super Post Panamax size, which is currently the world’s largest container crane size. The cranes will have a 65 ton lifting capacity and can therefore handle ships of Super Post Panamax size or 22 containers wide.
Though the first lot of consignment is now delivered, it will take a few more months to deliver the remaining seven quay cranes and 22 yard cranes.
Eight more ships will call at Vizhinjam port with container cranes required for the under-construction port in the coming days, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, after inaugurating a reception accorded to the first project cargo vessel at Vizhinjam.
The Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), which is building the port is hopeful of completing the much-touted and delayed international container transshipment port at Vizhinjam by May 2024.