Transnet Port Terminal reports that its R5.6 billion, five-year investment plan aimed at increasing the capacity of the Cape Town Container Terminal is progressing according to schedule. Under its reconfiguration program on the long quay, the container stacking yard is being converted from a straddle carrier operation to a rubber tired gantry (RTG) operation.
Over the past six months, 16 RTGs have been phased into the terminal and a further 16 RTGs are earmarked to arrive in the second half of this year. Moshe Motlohi, Cape Town Terminal Executive, said “The strategic advantage of the RTG is dense stacking - six rows wide, five containers high and 30 deep - thereby providing better utilisation of space.
“These converted RTG blocks boast stacking capacity of 6900 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) slots in total, presenting an increase in stacking capacity of up to 40%. This will assist in increasing the overall container capacity of the terminal capacity from 740,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 1.4 million TEUs by our end target of 2012,” he said.
The first block was completed in October 2009 (Block 10) and two more blocks were completed by December (Blocks 9 and D4), in total utilising eight RTG’s. Additional buffer storage of 1200 TEU slots is currently being provided in the old South African Container Depots yard which is located adjacent to the container terminal, to enable further reconfiguration work on the long quay to commence in April 2010 without unnecessary disruptions to operations.
The remainder of the terminal’s equipment replacement program of phasing-in RTGs to replace straddle carriers is also well underway, according to Motlohi.
“Towards the end of 2009, the terminal received the second and third batches of 25 haulers which brought the total number received to date by the terminal to 47 haulers valued at R87m,” he said.
The road equipment replacement programme has also achieved further milestones with the introduction of 60 cornerless bathtub trailers to the terminal, all of which are currently operational.
Transnet Port Terminals is aligning its human capital development programme at the terminal to meet the requirements of the expansion through an intensive operator training program. To date 69 Operators for Lifting Equipment (OLEs) have been trained and signed off as competent - 43 on the Liebherr twin lift cranes and 26 on the Kalmar RTG’s.
The training program extends through to September 2010, by which time a total of 83 RTG Operators will have been trained. The five year expansion program kicked off in January 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2012.