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New cranes a Christmas present for Auckland

New cranes a Christmas present for Auckland

Ports of Auckland is celebrating the arrival of three giant Christmas presents early this morning [subs: Wednesday, 13 December] off the North Shore coast.

Three new container cranes will be a spectacular sight as they make their way up the Waitemata Harbour to the Auckland port early on Friday, 15 December. The $27 million trio of cranes and their dedicated transport vessel - Zhen Hua 11 - will be the most unusual ship and cargo to ever steam up the harbour to berth at the far eastern end of the port (Axis Fergusson container terminal). The cranes will then be unloaded one-by-one over a five-day period.

The new cranes will be the fastest, biggest and most productive cranes in any New Zealand port. Vantage points Aucklanders can catch their first glimpse of the cranes and the Zhen Hua 11 anchored five nautical miles off Browns Bay. The ship will remain at anchor until its berth become available at the port on Friday morning, 15 December.

The East Coast Bays, North Head, Devonport and Bastion Point will be ideal areas from which to view the ship and cranes as they make their way down the Auckland coast, past Rangitoto Island and into the inner harbour on Friday. Once at berth, the ship and cranes are best viewed from Fred Ambler Lookout on Gladstone Road, Parnell or via webcam at www.axis-intermodal.co.nz

Meeting the needs of international trade Ports of Auckland has invested over $40 million in new container handling equipment, including the three new cranes and 11 new eco-friendly straddle carriers. This new equipment and other capital projects ensure that the port company can meet the burgeoning needs of New Zealand's international trade, the lifeblood of the economy.

In 2006 the port company handled more than $20 billion worth of New Zealand's imports and exports.

New equipment and an expanded operational area in the east will equip the port to handle future generations of container ships of up to 6,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container unit) and enable the Axis Fergusson terminal to handle up to one million containers each year.

Fast Facts * The new container cranes are 103 metres high (boom up, or 73 metres high with their booms down). They are wider and a few metres taller than the two other ZPMC container cranes that arrived at the port in 2002.

* Each crane weighs 1,250-tonnes.

* The new cranes will be the fastest, biggest and most productive cranes in any NZ port, with longer booms and increased lifting power and speed.

* The new cranes will bring the port company's post-panamax fleet to eight: five at Axis Fergusson container terminal and four at Axis Bledisloe container terminal.

* Ports of Auckland invested $27 million in the three new container cranes and more than $14 million in 11 new straddle carriers.

* The cranes were ordered in October 2005 and constructed by Zhenhua Port Machinery Company on the Yangtze River in Shanghai, China. The Company has facilities to allow the construction of up to 125 container cranes at any one time.

* The Port of Auckland is the only port in the Southern Hemisphere with double twin-lift capabilities (both the cranes and straddle carriers can each lift two containers at a time).

* The diesel-electric straddle carriers are more efficient, have less exhaust emissions and able to be used as generators to power critical refrigerated cargo in the case of a power failure.

* New infrastructure and investment projects are assisting the Company move forward with the long-term strategy to concentrate port operations to the east of the central city.

* Auckland's new cranes, straddle carriers and Fergusson five-hectare reclamation extension are increasing capacity and capability for handling growing container volumes today and well into the future.

ENDS

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