Kalmar, part of Cargotec, completed the heightening of six quay cranes at MSC Home Terminal, which is the largest container terminal in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. The project, undertaken by Kalmar's specialist Crane Services team, facilitates the continued expansion of the port by making it possible to handle larger container ships.
The project involved increasing the hoisting height of all the quay cranes from 38 meters to 42 meters above quay level. All modifications were completed within a 12 month time frame with work initially started in April 2012 and the 6th crane being recommissioned in March 2013.
The specialized technique involves jacking the crane and inserting a heightening construction just below the gross girders. To maintain the rigidity or stiffness, the sill beam is strengthened and bracers are installed at the waterside portal frame. This process enables the crane height to be increased by four meters.
The quay crane heightening project also included the extension of the personnel lift and staircase, partial renewal of the electrical wiring and software modifications. Essential maintenance work to the cranes was also undertaken to minimize production downtime. Disturbance to quayside operations was minimized as the cranes were transported by self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) to a designated construction site. Once modified, the cranes were then transported back to the original position on the quay.
Vice President of Kalmar Global Crane Services, Gert Jan Doornewaard said, "Crane modification offers an innovative solution to ports who need to increase their container handling capacity relatively quickly. With the ever-increasing capacity of container ships, quay cranes need the additional hoisting height and often boom reach too in order to off load containers.”