Engineering Genius: London Gateway's giant cranes

Three 2,000 tonne supercranes arrives at Britain's new super port

ANALYSIS, Projects, DP World, London Gateway

Three new giant cranes arrive at the new London Gateway super-port being developed by Dubai-based owners DP World.

The cranes will each be more than 138m high once in situ, which is taller than the London Eye.

They are also taller than Wembley stadium's new arch and two and-a-half times the size of Nelson's column.

The cranes weigh 2,000 tonnes each and will be able to lift four containers at once, which means the world’s largest ships will be unloaded more efficiently in future. The cranes have been built and are being delivered by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC) – a world leader in the development of quay cranes.

The first three left Shanghai on 7 January and two more departed at the end of February. A further 19 are scheduled for delivery at various phases over the next few years.

They will operate along a new quay wall which is 2.7km in length with foundations that are around 16 storeys (50m) deep in order to accommodate some of the world's biggest ships. The shipping channel has also been dredged from 11m to 14.5m in the inner channel and 16m in the outer channel.

Simon Moore, CEO of DP World's London Gateway, said: “These cranes will bring new innovation and efficiency to the supply chain industry.

"A world-class deep-sea container port requires a world-class set of cranes. They will be the lynchpin of the operation – the biggest, most modern and most efficient the UK has ever seen.

He added that the DP World was currently looking to recruit hundreds of staff to operate and maintain equipment and investing millions on improving both road and rail transport links to the site - 20km of new track is being developed for a rail link that will ship 30% of all containers.

Andrew Bowen, London Gateway engineering director, added: “London Gateway is built on new land created from material that we dredged from the existing shipping channel. So, these new cranes will be operating on land that, up until a few months back, was in the sea.”

Bowen continued: “We have more than 2,300 people now employed on-site who are in the final stages of constructing what we believe is the most technologically-advanced port in the world.”

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