Photo supplied by Transnet.
Delivered by the vessel Happy Dragon, the Liebherr cranes will go a long way toward replacing an entire crane which was lost due to extreme winds. Photo supplied by Transnet.
  • Two new massive R80 million mobile harbour cranes were delivered to the Port Elizabeth Container Terminal (PECT) on Thursday.
  • The delivery comes at the start of the 2020 citrus season, which will make exporting stock that much easier.  
  • South Africa, the world's second biggest citrus exporter, looks set for a record citrus harvest.
  • But Chinese wholesale markets remain closed, which will hurt demand.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Two massive new mobile harbour cranes, which cost R160 million together, were delivered to the Port Elizabeth Container Terminal (PECT) on Thursday.

Delivered by the vessel Happy Dragon, the Liebherr cranes will help to ease the pressure at the harbour after a crane was lost due to extreme winds, said Michelle Phillips, Transnet Port Terminal’s acting chief executive

“Having lost an entire crane due to gale force winds really set us back. The arrival of these two modern cranes will ensure that our promise to industry is realised”.

The cranes arrived at a critical time when the company’s terminals nationwide were prioritising the movement of much needed goods in the Eastern Cape.

“A simulator has been onsite for the past month with Liebherr providing training to our employees which was built in our purchase arrangement – and we are quite impressed with the skills employees are demonstrating,” said Phillips.

The timeous delivery also comes at the start of the 2020 citrus season, which will make exporting stock that much easier said Phillips.  

South Africa has a record 143.3 millions cartons of citrus available to harvest and pack, says Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association. But he warns that the disruption caused by COVID 19 regulations etc may impact on ability to harvest and pack, and logistics could be disrupted. “This is going to be an unusual year.”

Also, the international demand for SA citrus – especially in the key Chinese market – is under threat. In Asia, fresh produce is sold mainly  on wholesale markets, which may remain closed, This means little to no fruit from South African being shipped to China for wholesale, says Adéle Ackermann, brand manager at Capespan. 

PE harbour 

The Port Elizabeth Terminal has been in operation since 1963. It's one of the largest exporters of manganese in the country. It is also an automotive hub for the Eastern Cape Region. The cranes have multi-use capability and can lift 104 tons.

They’re also expected to benefit the automotive and the agricultural bulk sectors at the terminal.

They can move up and down the quayside according to berth activity, which allows them to handle new Panamax container and Cape size bulk vessels alike. 

Photo supplied by Transnet.
The cranes have multi-use capability and can lift 104 tons. Photo supplied by Transnet.

The mobile harbour cranes are part of Transnet Port Terminal’s R2 billion assessment into replacing aging equipment this year.

Additional upgrades include: four straddle carriers at the East London Multi-Purpose Terminal; a new tippler for the Saldanha Bulk Terminal; five more excavators, a ship loader, and a new conveyor belt for the Richards Bay Bulk Terminal reports Eastern Cape Industrial and Business News.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: