The heavy-load vessel Happy Buccaneer was on berth yesterday at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) with the first group of six rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs) that are the centerpieces of the $375 million capacity expansion project, the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) said in its latest release.
The Happy Buccaneer’s arrival signals the start of an 18-month cycle that will see the delivery of 60 new cranes to NIT.
In January 2018, construction on the NIT expansion got underway and the project will be complete by mid-year 2020. The work will expand NIT’s annual throughput capacity by 400,000 container units, said VPA.
“This is the stage when things begin to come to life at NIT,” commented John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
“The work at VIG will be done by next summer, our 55-foot dredging project has gotten federal approval, so we are beginning the preliminary engineering and design work, and we are on-budget and on schedule here (NIT). The hard working going on here today is creating a sustainable port that will have decades of growth ahead of it.”
Last month, the Port of Virginia accepted the last load of 26 new RMGs at Virginia International Gateway (VIG), where $320 million is being invested to expand cargo capacity and operations.