As the port of Penang undertakes the biggest expansion in its history it is employing best practices to ensure the reliability and efficiency of the craneage system on which its cargo handling depends.
PenangPort has ongoing maintenance arrangements with the global Konecranes Group to service its ship-to-shore cranes as it invests $340m from 2007-2012 to expand elevate its status to a main line port capable of handling more than a million TEUs a year. (Twenty foot equivalent units, TEUs, a year)
The nine existing ship-to-shore cranes – with three electric overhead travelling (EOT) maintenance cranes for which Konecranes is also responsible at North Butterworth Container Terminal – are integral to the port’s performance as it aims to ultimately achieve crane productivity of 30 TEUs an hour.
Another seven ship-to-shore cranes are scheduled for delivery by the end of this year, with service and parts supply also provided by Konecranes through its nearby Singapore headquarters and worldwide network of 485 locations in 43 countries with more than 366,000 cranes of all brands under service contracts.
The current NBCT expansion Phase 3 consists of Segment A1 and A2. Segment A1 involved the extension of a new 600 metre berth at the Northern end of the existing 900 metre wharf. Segment A2 involved the construction of a 771 metre length of stacking area for export containers behind the wharf. The stacking area is capable of handling 465,000 TEUs with 2640 ground slots. The total investment of this project inclusive of the handling equipment is about RM900 million.
Boon Kheng, whose office in Penang is backed by the resources of the regional Konecranes headquarters in Singapore, is responsible for the maintenance agreement covering the 10-ton Konecranes XL EOT crane, and the 8-ton CXT and 3-ton XL cranes in the maintenance facility. He also provides assistance for the ship-to-shore cranes, working with the port’s own maintenance teams, and for the mobile RTG cranes that move containers around the port’s yards. Konecranes is involved in repairing and upgrading the gantry cranes, as well as the quay cranes serving customers globally as well as those in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Recent jobs in which they have been involved include a trolley rail and wheels replacement on STS Crane No 4, completed within three weeks, and rebuilding of the bogie on an RTG crane to repair the expected wear and cracking resulting from heavy service in the container yard.