Belgium: MSC Home Terminal to Handle Large Container Ships

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has completed the heightening of six quay cranes at MSC Home Terminal, which is the largest container terminal in the port of Antwerp, Belgium.

The project, undertaken by Kalmar’s specialist Crane Services team, facilitates the continued expansion of the port by making it possible to handle larger container ships.

The project involved increasing the hoisting height of all the quay cranes from 38 meters to 42 meters above quay level. All modifications were completed within a 12 month time frame with work initially started in April 2012 and the 6th crane being re-commissioned in March 2013.

The highly specialised technique involves jacking the crane and inserting a heightening construction just below the gross girders. In order to maintain the rigidity or stiffness, the sill beam is strengthened and bracers are installed at the waterside portal frame. This process enables the crane height to be increased by four meters.

The quay crane heightening project also included the extension of the personnel lift and staircase, partial renewal of the electrical wiring and software modifications. Essential maintenance work to the cranes was also undertaken to minimise production downtime.Disturbance to quayside operations was minimised as the cranes were transported by self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) to a designated construction site. Once modified, the cranes were then transported back to the original position on the quay.

Hugo Borré, Technical Manager at MSC Home Terminal commented, “It is vital, that our operations continue to work at maximum efficiency. Also the ability to handle the larger vessels that are coming through is a critical factor. We decided to increase the height of six quay cranes to match the 42m hoisting capacity of several existing cranes. For a project of this scale, Kalmar really is the specialist and we had total confidence that they could successfully perform such a complex project“.

One of the key benefits of working with Kalmar experts is that, being a manufacturer, they have an excellent grasp of the critical design considerations and can therefore deliver a really effective solution in the minimum time frame. The first cranes were commissioned in September 2012 and have been operating without any interruptions or problems,” he added.

Vice President of Kalmar Global Crane Services, Gert Jan Doornewaard said, “Crane modification offers an innovative solution to ports who need to increase their container handling capacity relatively quickly. With the ever-increasing capacity of container ships, quay cranes need the additional hoisting height and often boom reach too in order to off load containers. Kalmar has developed a range of highly advanced technical solutions, like our unique jacking system for example, to facilitate this. It means we can continue to offer our customers a level of service that optimises the productivity of their operations“.

Press Release, May 21, 2013

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