Shipping delays will see the towering cranes for the Fairview container port delayed by about a month, as the worldwide demand for the specialized ships that deliver the cranes is outpacing the supply.
The next window of opportunity for transit to Prince Rupert will be in August, when its expected that the cranes, which will be twice the size of the Highliner, will begin their journey to Canada's west coast.
The Daily News had full details on the first serious glitch in the preparation for containerization at Fairview Port.
CRANE DELAY WILL NOT HOLD UP PORT START DATE: KRUSEL
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Friday, July 06, 2007
The towering container cranes that will move cargo at the new Fairview Container Terminal will not arrive until mid August, but that does not mean the terminal will open behind schedule.
Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said a shortage of the special ships needed to move the super-sized cranes means they will not be delivered this week as originally scheduled.
"The reason is not because the cranes are behind. The vessels that transport the cranes are specialized vessels and there is high demand around the world for the delivery of these cranes so those vessels are backed up," said Krusel.
"The next window of opportunity is in August."
At the moment, the anticipated date of delivery for the three Maher Terminal super post Panamax size cranes is Aug. 16. However, Krusel said it will not impact the timeline of opening the terminal.
"Normally, when those container cranes are delivered, there is still a period of conditioning when the manufacturer sends a team of engineers over to do the last little bit of commission work," said Krusel.
"That is still going on in place at the manufacturing facility in Shanghai so when those cranes are delivered they will be in an operational state."
The cranes were ordered from ZPMC of Shanghai, China, more than a year and a half ago. Once the cranes arrive, they will be transferred from the special vessel to the new berth over a period of nine days.
They will be some of the world's largest container cranes, standing more than 300 feet high and able to reach 200 feet out across the dock to lift the 20-foot-long containers off of the ships and on to rail cars.
They will be the tallest structures in Prince Rupert standing, two times the height of the Highliner Inn, currently the city's tallest structure.
Together with supporting container handling equipment and technology, Maher Terminals has invested $60 million in the new facility.
Currently, the conversion of the Fairview Container Terminal is on time and on budget, with work about 90 per cent complete, said Krusel.
Speaking at the Prince Rupert Port Authority's annual general meeting on Thursday, he said they plan to hold a community celebration marking the project's completion on Sept. 12 and the first ship is scheduled to arrive in October, once all the bugs are worked out of the system.
"We are less than 16 weeks away from it becoming operational and the terminal opening up. It will open up a new world of opportunity, not only in this region but across the entire corridor that has been created," said Krusel.
"If there's anything that deserves a celebration it's the completion of this long awaited piece of infrastructure."