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Published: November 2017      

MHC choices opening up

The market for MHCs is becoming more competitive, thanks to new technical solutions and new entrants.

Earlier this year MHC market entrant Jiangsu Rainbow Heavy Industries (RHI) reported an order for three Genma GHC100 cranes from J M Baxi Group in India, for operations at Paradip Port. RHI supplied its first MHC, a GHC83, to a Chinese customer in 2015, and subsequently secured its first export contract, two GHC100s for Myanmar Industrial Port (MIP).

It is now known that MIP, up to then a Gottwald customer, did not tender for new cranes, but entered into a private arrangement with RHI, on the basis of very cheap finance for the cranes. Baxi Group is also an existing Gottwald customer. In this case, however, Gottwald was invited to bid, and it did so, but RHI’s price was much lower, and the contract was awarded on price. Clearly, RHI is targeting the market aggressively, to build up references and credibility in the international market.

The company is aiming for many areas of the port crane and ship (un)loader market, and has just shipped its first rail-mounted gantry grab unloader, to cement producer Semen in Indonesia. This is rated at 1,000 tph.

Rikon soon

In the next year or so, Riga (Latvia)-based crane maker Rikon A/S will enter the MHC sector. Its design is being finalised, and manufacturing should start in H2 2018, with market launch set for early 2019. The first model will be a Panamax crane. “The concept of our MHC will be different to current market solutions, with regards to the main drives of the crane,” said Rikon’s COO, Aleksandrs Nikolajevs.

Rikon manufactures a wide range of rail portal-mounted, double lever multipurpose cranes, along with RMGs, barge-toshore cranes, balance cranes, shipboard cranes, shipyard cranes, etc.

Recent deliveries or workin-progress include three RPS- 1600s for Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (delivered fully assembled) and two RPS-640 for Murmansk Commercial Seaport, while two large shipyard RMGs (200t, 46m span) are being assembled at the customer’s site, and a large portal shipyard crane is under assembly in Russia.

In April this year, two powerful RPS-2000 multipurpose cranes, equipped for container handling, hook loads, as well as heavyduty four-rope grab work, were shipped to Norilsk Nickel in Arkhangelsk. These cranes have a capacity of 50t at 40m outreach (32t in grab mode), explained Nikolajevs, and enable Norilsk Nickel to handle vessels up to 5,000 TEU.

They were supplied with two special Elme spreaders, one telescoping between 10ft and 40ft, and the other specifically designed for 10ft containers. All equipment is capable of operating at temperatures down to -40 degC. Rikon also designs and builds grabs, and has supplied more than 500 in the past 20 years, and, on request, it supplies Verstegen grabs.

Rikon has had a strategic partnership with Germany’s Daitche Crane Equipment GmbH (DCE) since 2011. “Cooperation between our designing department and DCE engineers allows us to make cranes with optimal technical characteristics, and feedback from customers allows us to continuously improve the control system and the electric equipment,” said Nikolajevs. “Since 2011, Daitche has supplied reducers and electric equipment for more than 100 cranes.”

As regards the new MHC, Rikon says that discussions have already been held with potential customers in Baltic and Black Sea ports. This is interesting because, although Liebherr and Gottwald no longer supply annual references for publication, in the past few years, Liebherr is thought to have taken a strong position in the Russia/CIS MHC market, where, traditionally, Gottwald was the main supplier.

Pushing the limit

As previously discussed, Mantsinen has pushed at the boundaries of rope hoist MHCs with its large materials handlers, particularly the 200M HybriLift, and it has now taken another big step with the 300 design, incorporating the new-generation HybriLift hybrid drive.

The Mantsinen 300 is the largest hydraulic crane in the world, with a lifting capacity of 50t and a reach of 40m. Two crawlermounted 300Rs, each worth around €2M, were recently shipped fully erect on board MERI from Finland to Belgium, one for GTS in Ghent, and the other for Samga in Antwerp, both part of the same group. The next two 300s will be supplied to Finnish customers, and the one after that will be a rubber-tyred machine, a 300M, which will really challenge the MHC market.

While Mantsinen is making inroads into the realm of traditional rope hoist MHCs, another company normally associated with hydraulic cranes and materials handlers is pushing more into that MHC sector. Sennebogen introduced its 9300 E MHC earlier this year, and the first customer is IDC Liman Isletmeleri AS in the Port of Izmir, Turkey. The crane should be delivered by the end of this year, following a detailed testing programme at the Sennebogen plant in Straubing, Germany.

The crane has an outreach of 40m, and is suitable for Panamax bulkers, says Sennebogen. At the same time, it provides an attractive solution for heavy and general cargo with 90t load capacity at a radius of almost 20m.

Cab riser

In a novel move for a rope hoist MHC, Sennebogen has adapted the pantographic cab arrangements, popular on hydraulic materials handlers used in ports. The operator can access the cab (Sennebogen Portcab design) at a height of 9m, and then use the Skylift 1100 cab adjustment to find the optimum working height, up to 21.2m. So far, this is unique in the rope hoist MHC world.

The undercarriage comprises 14 wheel sets, with all-wheel steering to provide high manoeuvrability, while the star configuration of the fold-out outriggers occupies an area of 11.5m x 11.5m when deployed, to ensure high stability.

This year, Sennebogen has completed a 35,000 m2 expansion of its Straubing plant, and the 9300 E is among a number of new products that will be built there. These include the new 870 E materials handler for ports, launched in 2016, and now in use at ports in Turkey, Germany, the USA and Iceland.

Staying busy

Konecranes Gottwald has just reported the delivery of a Model 8 rail portal-mounted, four-rope grab crane to EBHI in the port of Gijón, Spain, with a maximum lifting capacity of 100t, an outreach of 50m and a grab curve of 63t. The portal has a track gauge of 22m and a clearance height of 6.125m. This order, worth €4.9M, along with a separate (but linked) order worth €3.3M for a Silva dedusting hopper, was reported by WorldCargo News last November (p46) based on information published locally by EBHI. This was literally ‘windfall’ business, since EBHI needed to replace a gantry grab unloader destroyed by a storm.

Konecranes Gottwald has also received a repeat order for two Model 8 floating cranes, also with a 63t grab curve, from Singapore-based Winning Logistics, for transloading of bauxite off the coast of Guinea on the open sea. These units are due for commissioning in mid-2018, around three years after the first floating crane was delivered, when Winning commenced this activity for bauxite miners.

The bauxite is shipped on river barges to the open sea, where the floating cranes load it onto oceangoing vessels heading for Asia. The cranes are classed to operate at wind speeds of up to 24 m/sec, and in wave heights up to 2.5m. The maximum hook lift of 100t also enables the cranes to handle project cargo, such as mining machinery.

In 2016, the then Terex Gottwald developed a variant of the Model 8 G HMK 8410 tworope MHC, able to work a container ship 20 container rows across, and up to nine containers stacked on deck, at the same time (8,800-9,300 TEU range).

This variant is called G HMK 8412, and it has a higher tower with a correspondingly higher boom pivot point, and a tower cab featuring a crane operator eye level of 4m. The maximum outreach of the crane has been extended by 3m compared to the G HMK 8410, and comes to 61m. The crane is claimed to have a particularly powerful lifting capacity curve, offering terminal operators 24% greater capacity in the end range of its outreach, which means a lifting capacity of 50t, even at maximum radius.

SWL is 41t under spreader, and the crane can serve three container bays next to each other effectively, even in the 20th row, without having to travel alongside the vessel. The chassis has been modified in such a way as to decouple the travel gear and propping system geometrically, leading to a relatively compact construction and aiding manoeuvrability, as well as providing a broader axle track to spread the load.

Another 800

Liebherr Maritime’s plant in Rostock gives it the advantage of fully erect dispatch when requested by the customer, even for its biggest MHC, the LHM 800. It can thus reduce the lead time from order confirmation to commissioning at the customer’s site. This appears to have been a factor in SCT Salerno’s recent decision to switch to Liebherr for its latest MHC acquisitions – two LHM 600s (WorldCargo News, September 2017, p15).

At any rate, in October, an LHM 800 was rolled aboard ROLLDOCK SKY under its own power, for shipment to Terminal Pacífico Sur (TPS) in Valparaíso. TPS thus becomes the third known customer to date for the LHM 800, after Montecon in Montevideo and Fenix in Bronka, each with two cranes. The new machine is configured with a maximum lifting capacity of 154t, and an outreach of 64m. The additional tower extension of 9.6m ensures an operator eye level of more than 40m.

The ‘third man’

While Liebherr and Gottwald are the ‘big two’ MHC suppliers, the third player, Italgru, is also significant. Although its ownership changed several years ago, Italgru has likewise been in the MHC market for many years, and has many long-standing customers. While new customers are always welcome, repeat orders go a long way to demonstrating product quality and reliability, as well as effective after-sales support.

The company reports that it has firm orders in hand for nine MHCs of 120t or 150t capacity, as well as one 80t MHC, all for delivery between the remainder of 2017 and Q3 2018. Another eight cranes ranging between 80t and 150t capacity are under negotiation.

On the offshore side, nine pedestal cranes are under construction for Saudi Aramco in the oil and gas sectors, and a further six are also under negotiation.

Company director Fabrizio Bonfanti also reiterates that the five model IMHC 2120 MHCs delivered to Indonesia’s Pelindo III in Surabaya last year have provision for all-electric drive. “We are able to manufacture dieselhydraulic and diesel-electric cranes, and cranes with electric cables as required, with competitive price and delivery,” he said.

Other deliveries

Outside of reporting by OEMs, it is also known that, in the past two months, the Swedish port of Malmö has received two medium-sized Konecranes Gottwald MHCs with an outreach of 46m and a maximum capacity of 120t, mainly for general cargo and bulk handling. Earlier this year, the Uruguayan port of Fray Bentos acquired an M50 Quaymate MHC, the smallest MHC in the Konecranes Gottwald portfolio. The crane, which cost US$3.2M, including two grabs and two container spreaders, has a maximum capacity of 50t, and will be used mainly to handle coastal vessels and barges. In Mexico, Altamira Terminal Portuaria (ATP), part of Hutchison, has acquired a Gottwald MHC. The crane, which reportedly cost US$6M, has a maximum hook load capacity of 200t, and is expected to be used with another MHC to undertake tandem lifts loads of up to 200t.

In September, WorldCargo News reported (p5) that Bendezu Port Equipment had just supplied a second-hand Liebherr LHM 150 HMC to Port of Leixões operator TCGL, part of Portugal’s ETE group. This crane was put into service at the end of August.

The crane is part of a total investment by TCGL of €3.5M, most of which is going on a new Liebherr LHM 420 that is due to arrive in December/January. The two acquisitions bring to seven the number of MHCs operated by TCGL, along with two 40t rail portal cranes.

TCGL recently received a five-year extension to its concession, so it now runs to 2,030m, in exchange for committing to invest €5M in equipment, and agreeing to lower its handling charges. The company handled 2.4 Mt in the first eight months of the year, broadly similar to the same period last year.

Fuchs wins turnkey award from Lumut

Malaysian operator Lumut Maritime Terminal Sdn Bhd is switching completely from a mixed fleet of modified excavators, wheel loaders and truck cranes, to purpose-built Fuchs materials handlers for vessel handling, stockpiling and truck (un)loading. As previously discussed, Fuchs was not part of Terex MHPS, sold to Konecranes in January, and therefore remains with the Terex Group.

The Lumut order comprises three Fuchs RHL880 XL-Trac and four wheeled MHL350F materials handlers, which should all be delivered by mid-2018. “We expect a 30% increase in materials handling flow by switching to the Fuchs materials handlers,” said Mubarak Ali, Lumut’s CEO.

The RHL880s will be equipped with a 24m cranked boom, to help reduce cycle times, and they will have electric drive with 90m of cable and Fuchs Powerpack for travel along the 180m quay. With a 3.3m undercarriage height, the handlers are built with a 3.7m pylon riser to boost upper structure height to 7m. The height of the cabin can be adjusted hydraulically to give the operator a maximum 13m eye level, and it can be moved forward by 2.2m to help optimise sight over the hold.

The 35t class MHL350Fs have a 16m reach, to stockpile bulk materials and (un)load road trucks, and they can be driven around the stockyard at speeds reaching 20 kph. The hydraulically height-adjustable cabin offers an elevated eye level of 5.6m, allowing the operators to see over the sides of high-wall trailers. An intelligent overload system allows the machines to work inside the warehouse facilities, which have limited roof heights.

“In addition to boosting materials handling efficiency by 30%, we have calculated that the machines will deliver Lumut Maritime up to a 70% fuel/energy-savings compared to operating the modified excavators,” said Andreas Gruber, Fuchs’ business manager....


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