Konecranes has earlier announced that it had a letter of intent for the ASC order, which has now been ratified by the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners, and the port has announced that TMEIC will supply the drives and automation.
The order for 86 Automated Stacking Cranes (ASCs) covers two separate deliveries: The first is for 60 units for Norfolk International Terminals (NIT); and the second is for 26 cranes for Virginia International Gateway (VIG). Delivery begins in 2018 and will continue in phases until 2020.
The total value of the contract is US$217M, which is part of the budget for a US$321M expansion at VIG, and a US$350M expansion at NIT. AT VIG work includes a berth expansion, four new STS cranes and 13 ASC blocks to double capacity to 1.2M container lifts annually.
At NIT, the terminal’s south-side container yard will be converted from a straddle carrier to an ASC operation, increasing capacity 46% from 820,000 container lifts to 1.22M container lifts annually.
The port has announced that the “key components in the cranes will be manufactured by Konecranes in Finland”, while the steel structures will be manufactured elsewhere in Europe.
Konecranes, together with TMEIC, delivered the first ASCs to VIG a decade ago, when the terminal was owned and operated by APM Terminals. It is understood that Konecranes and TMEIC were not the lowest bidders this new order, and that the bidding criteria gave a higher weighting to other factors, including experience and performance in past automation projects.
John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said the port’s history with Konecranes and the proven TMEIC technology behind the cranes helped to make Konecranes the logical choice. “Konecranes is able to take complete responsibility for this type of very large delivery because the company has extensive crane knowledge and experience from similar large projects,” Reinhart said. “The product is field-proven, the delivery is on-time and ultimately, on-budget. We’re looking forward to putting them into use and further increase our ability to serve as an economic engine for the Commonwealth.”
Virginia Governor Terry R. McAuliffe emphasised that a key part of the project is coming from a US-based company. “This project will create jobs and economic spin-off,” McAuliffe said. “One of the first beneficiaries of that will be TMEIC, which is a growing company that, with Konecranes, has a global demand for its services: it will be good for TMEIC and it will be good for Virginia.”