Dubai-based global marine terminal operator DP World is stepping up container handling productivity at its flagship Jebel Ali Port, by adding 1.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) to Container Terminal 3 (T3).
The expansion is in response to emerging market demand and increases the port’s capacity from 18 million TEU to 19.5 million TEU. T3 now has a capacity of 4 million TEU and will be the world’s largest semi-automated terminal, said a statement.
The first batch of 37 new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and 47 automated rail mounted gantry (ARMG) cranes are already operational and servicing customers.
The 720,000-sq-m facility was inaugurated in 2014 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer, DP World, said: “Increasing the handling capacity at Terminal 3 is in response to the high levels of utilisation at the port and with the recovery in volumes the medium-term outlook remains positive, particularly with the lead up to Expo 2020.”
“Our priority is to ensure that we can serve our customers efficiently and deliver the benefits of scale that the new fleet of ocean going mega vessels offer. The new cranes and retrofitting reflects the investments we make in infrastructure, equipment, technology and training of our teams,” he said.
“Today, Jebel Ali has the capability to accommodate ten mega container ships simultaneously and we are on schedule to increase this number significantly,” he added.
“Volumes are rising again in our UAE region and we expect Expo 2020 and the opening up of new markets to drive medium term growth. The on-going improvements to capacity and productivity at Jebel Ali send out a clear message to our customers that their favourite port in the region remains focused on providing them with the first rate service and efficiency they expect from us,” Bin Sulayem continued.
The upgrade includes raising the heights of seven existing quay cranes by retrofitting them to meet the requirements of the new mega container vessels. The major refurbishing work will improve efficiency and productivity while prolonging the lifespan of the cranes. Shore-side expansion work will cover all the port’s functioning Container Terminals, T1, T2 and T3.
DP World, UAE region handled 7.7 million TEU in first half of 2017, growing 4.3per cent year-on-year. Jebel Ali Port is expected to see container traffic increase over the coming years in the lead up to Expo 2020.
Jebel Ali’s Container Terminal (T1) now has 15 ZPMC replacement STS cranes, with 70 tonne twin-lift capability. They are equipped to handle the latest Triple-E mega vessels. Its capability is further strengthened by the crane heightening project, with six cranes being refitted to service the new container ships.
Container Terminal 2 (T2) will receive three STS and 12 ARMG cranes. The STS cranes are dual hoist tandem types capable of lifting two 40 TEU containers or four 20 TEU boxes, with a combined weight of 100 tonnes. Three existing cranes will be retro-fitted to raise their heights to handle the next generation vessels. The 12 ARMGs are double cantilever/double truck lane models capable of handling twin lift containers to a combined weight of 70 tonnes.
ZPMC (Shanghai Zhenua heavy Industries Company) are also commissioning the final six cranes of Jebel Ali’s Container Terminal 3 (T3) - single hoist tandem types capable of lifting up to 100 tonnes.
Meanwhile, in line with market demand, Container Terminal 4 (T4) will take delivery of 13 STS cranes, which are dual hoist tandem models able to lift a combined weight of 120 tonnes and 35 ARMG cranes that are the double cantilever/double truck lane types able to handle twin-lift containers to a combined weight of 70 tonnes.
Jebel Ali is one of the few ports in the Middle East capable of berthing multiple modern era megaships that have a carrying capacity of 18,000 TEU and more.
The port’s capabilities were highlighted earlier this year when the MSC Eloane, the world’s largest containership berthed there, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service