Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Zhen Hua 16 brings destiny to Prince Rupert

It’s perhaps the first arrival from China but certainly won’t be the last, as the city bubbled over with excitement Monday night as the Chinese vessel Zhen Hua 16 slipped into the harbour with one of the most anticipated cargoes in Prince Rupert history.

The Tuesday Daily News provided front page coverage of Monday’s arrival of the three Maher Terminal Cranes which will transform the face of Prince Rupert’s waterfront forever.

The cranes which each weigh 1,800 tonnes and reach 25 storeys into the sky were on display for the West side of the city in the early evening of Monday, as residents crowded along Graham Avenue or down along BC Ferries to view the arrival of the much anticipated addition to the Prince Rupert skyline.

The Tuesday edition of the Daily News had two stories featuring some feedback from the port and Maher Terminals, as well as how local residents can follow the progress of the cranes over the next days as they move from vessel to shore.

Onlookers gather to witness history as cranes complete journey from China
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Tuesday August 21, 2007
Pages one and three

The arrival of three super post-panamax cranes yesterday put the final pieces in place for next month’s grand opening of Prince Rupert’s Fairview Container Terminal.

The ZMPC vessel Zherhua 16 pulled into the Prince Rupert Harbour yesterday evening and berthed at the Fairview terminal at 8 p.m., from where the cranes are scheduled to be offloaded during a nine-day period.

“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.

“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, including Mark Schepp, assistant vice president of terminal operations, who was in a great mood and cracking jokes with colleagues.

“It’s great, and it’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Schepp. “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.”

The cranes each weigh-in at 1,800 tonnes, and at 80 metres in height (25 storeys), and the tallest structures in Prince Rupert.

Unloading them is going to be a week-long process, with the final one tentatively expected to be coming off the ship on Sun., Aug. 26.

“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 coordinator of projects with PRPA.

“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.”

Even after the cranes have been unloaded, there will be a period of commissioning and testing that will take place, meaning they will be officially operational some time in late September or early October. And while the grand opening of Fairview Terminal is still almost a month away, it’s never too early to think about the implementation of Phase 2.

“We won’t see container cranes sail into our harbour again until we have Phase 2 up and ready, that’s not until 2012,” said Krusel.

“We would like to push that date forward as best as we can, and I think everybody would like to see that as well. But realistically there’s a lot of activity that has to take place.

“We have the design and engineering done to about 80 pre cent complete, but just the construction will take two-and-a half to three years, so we have a lot of work ahead of us bet we want to push that as fast as we can.”

By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Page one

The Fairview Terminal, from Scott Road to the Viewing area, won’t be accessible to the public anymore due to ongoing construction on the terminal.

“The port recognizes there is a tremendous local and regional interest in seeing the cranes… but the asphalt plant and trucks are operating in and around the viewing area 14 hours a day, and we don’t want to create safety risks for either the paving crews or the public,” said Barry Bartlett, manager of corporate communications for the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

“However, the Port of Prince Rupert is undertaking several initiatives to ensure everyone interested has a front-row view to watch the cranes’ progress.”

There is now a new webcam in place at the terminal, which internet users can view at the PRPA website, The public will be able to watch the offloading of the cranes from the vessel in real time from the homepage of the site, for those who want to see the entire process.

Not only can the public view the terminal online, but CityWest has taped the arrival of the cranes and will continue to film the offloading progress during the coming week and plans to broadcast it on Channel 10.

“The port will have commissionaires stationed at the top of Scott Road to remind people that the viewing area is closed to the public for their safety,’ said David Fisher, manager of operations and maintenance for the port.

Fisher also urged boaters to be mindful of the fact that they should stay at least 100 metres away from the Zhen Hua 16 while the vessel is at berth.

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