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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Mobile Harbour Crane at Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Rivers and civilization generally interest us. Just like our Indus valley civilization, there existed Inca empire where the present day Ecuador is situtated.

Read a newsitem about the Contecon Guayaquil SA (CGSA) operator of the Guayaquil container ordering a third G HMK 6407 mobile harbour crane from Gottwald Port technology Gmbh. The model 6 crane recently was put into operation at that Port and is handling containers.

For the uninformed, there are cranes on the dockside, quite often referred as Gantry that transfer cargo from and to ships. The containerization required specialized equipments for fast handling of containers – the container crane also known as portainers are large cranes placed on dockside for loading and unloading intermodal containers from container ships. These fixed installations can traverse the length of the yard, their moving platform called spreader lowers on the container, locks on to the corner castings using a twistlock mechanism and safely lifts them. With technological advancement there are also mobile ones which are mounted on rubber-tyred chassis and are designed to handle cargo with a larger radii. The arrangement of the equipment is such that it is not precast and can adjust its arms to handle containers of any size with ease.

The terminal has recently installed a mobile container of Gottwald, the manufacturer from Dusseldorf in Germany. This reportedly is the 8th crane sold to Ecuador since 1987. The new arrival has given a boost to the terminal, especially after one of the gantry crane was demolished by Liberian flagged containership CCNI Antartico colliding on to it, in April this year.

The Guayas is an important river of South America which does not empty into Atlantic sea. It flows into the Pacific ocean at the Gulf of Guayaquil. Guayaquil is a large and populous city of Ecuador and a main port of the Nation. Inca civilization began as a tribe traced back to 1200 ; Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-columbian America.

Now coming back to present day reality, the Port in Ecuador is managed by private sector management which is investing heavily in facilities improvement and equipment. The first two mobile cranes of Gottwald were in place in 2007 which has helped in efficient container operation. Three post-panamax gantry cranes were commissioned in February 2009 as part of more than $100m of investment in the terminal that included a berth extension capable of receiving the equipment. Guayaquil handles around 75% of the country’s international trade and over 90% of the country’s container traffic.

According to statistics of Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the port handled 884,100teu as well as more than 2 million tonnes of general cargo – mainly bananas of which Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter. The terminal extends to an area of 115 hectares, has 9 berthing positions; the container yard itself occupies 38 hectares and has 1610 plugs for reefers.

The port was in news in April this year when container vessel CCNI Antartico demolished the gantry. The 2002 built gearless boxship with a capacity of 4100 TEU was on its maiden voyage when it was deployed to serve between Asia and west coast of South America. The vessel brushed a berthed vessel before ploughing into the gantry crane causing serious damage to the installation, which impeded the productivity of the port handling. The damages to the berth were minimal and even the cargo waiting to be loaded was not affected. The ship was under charter for a period of 12 months reportedly at US$11,000 a day.

The modern cranes at the Port reportedly are capable of handling ships upto 18 rows of containers and the gantry crane was believed to cost around $7M each. The damage to the crane was estimated to be around $1M.

The recent acquisition G HMK 6407 is reportedly a techonological marvel with its high manoeuverability around the Port exhibiting superior prowess than the static ones. The handling machines are powered by electric drives and can handle all forms of cargo without hassles safely and economically alongside all sized vessels.

Technology is what enables movement of goods from one Country to another and the transportation has enabled trade and ensured availability of goods freely across the countries.

Regards – Sampathkumar S


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