Tuesday, August 21, 2007

History in the making

The CBC website has tapped into the excitement around the city with the arrival of the Maher Terminal Container cranes yesterday.

Interviews with Don Krusel CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert and Mark Schepp, assistant vice-president of terminal operations gave a sense of the moment that the cranes arrival signifies.

The Canadian Press story also provides a bit of a glimpse into the process of moving the cranes from the vessel to the rail tracks that they will run on at Fairview.

Massive cranes make history in Prince Rupert
Final pieces of $170 million port expansion arrive
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 5:23 PM PT
The Canadian Press

The arrival of three massive cranes signifies "a historic day" for Prince Rupert, B.C. The cranes, each weighing 1,800 tonnes and 80 metres high, are the final pieces for next month's grand opening of the Fairview Container Terminal.

"It's very exciting. There's so many words that go through my mind to express this event and none of them really seem appropriate," said Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority on Tuesday.

"We have been waiting years for this, so it almost seems somewhat surreal to see these cranes finally here. We definitely recognize this is a historic day for Prince Rupert."

Many port authority employees were on hand to witness the cranes' arrival and so were a number of the Maher Terminals staff. New Jersey-based Maher will operate the facility. The cranes are a key part of a $170 million expansion intended to make the port a major entry point for goods traveling between North America and Asia.

"It's great, and it's an unbelievable feeling," said Mark Schepp, assistant vice-president of terminal operations.

"I get a little chill running up and down my spine here watching these cranes sail into the harbour here. I think it's a great day for the community, it's a great day for the Maher family and it's quite an event."

Unloading them is going to be a weeklong process, with the final one tentatively expected to be coming off the ship on Sunday.

"Right now, we've taken out some of the boat rail in place to allow for the installation of some temporary rail that the cranes will be jacked up and put on, then run across," said Jamie Malthus, technical co-ordinator of projects with the port authority.

"The way they will pull them off the vessel is there will be a huge water bottle on site that will act as an anchor and they'll tow against that.

"Once the cranes are over in position above the landside and waterside crane rail, they'll jack them down and the cranes will be in place."

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