The move aims to optimise use of the equipment, increase efficiencies and ensure optimum berth utilisation at the local harbour.

Both cranes have been redeployed to berth 701, which operates as a dual-purpose, import and export berth.

Although they will primarily be utilised at this berth, their mobility allows the terminal to use the cranes as back-up for 702, 609 and MPT 6 series berths.

The cranes currently run on diesel gensets and will be upgraded to dual shore power electric machines to ensure that the bulk operation is cost effective to Transnet Port Terminal (TPT) customers.

General Manager for Engineering at TPT, Josiah Mpofu, emphasised that the relocation of the cranes to Richards Bay will also ‘improve opportunities to maintain cranes better’, which will increase their reliability.

One of the two cranes arriving in Richards Bay from Maydon Wharf in Durban.

‘The moving of the two cranes from Durban to Richards Bay was not an easy operation as it entailed the lifting of the MHCs weighing 400 tons each via heavy lift gear.

‘This was followed by a sea voyage from Durban to Richards Bay, the off-loading, commissioning and load testing.

‘Stringent measures had to be taken to ensure the MHCs were properly secured and corrosion protected whilst in transit.

‘For this project to be a success, it required cooperation between a multi-disciplinary internal project team and the OEM commissioning the equipment,’ Mpofu said.