Associated British Ports (ABP) is investing £32 million in port equipment in the Humber to maintain customer demand as part of a wider Group investment.
A five-year strategy is being rolled out which involves purchasing new cranes, the full refurbishment of existing cranes and investing in landside equipment. The plan has involved looking at the eco-friendliness of new plant and equipment ensuring that ABP continue to invest in environmentally friendly and sustainable equipment.
The ongoing strategy in the Humber has been split between investment in mobile harbour cranes and hydraulic cranes – the first of which the Mantsinen 300M, the world’s largest hydraulic crane, is due at the port of Immingham late April.
Simon Bird, Regional Director for the Humber ports said: “This significant investment shows the confidence we have to continue to grow and invest to ensure the Humber ports are future-proofed when it comes to the latest technology in cranes and cargo handling equipment.
“Our strategy is about ensuring we have a versatile mix of cranes to cargo mix and that we can provide additional capacity to meet growing volumes of cargo. As a port operator we remain resilient and give our customers what they need, and they want to know what we have is reliable and efficient.”
The Covid-19 pandemic delayed the rollout of the strategy, but now orders are being placed and equipment is arriving. The first delivery in December 2021 were four Konecranes Reach Stackers which run on hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) costing £1.6 million This will be followed by the Mantsinen 300m Hybrilift hydraulic crane plus various attachments costing nearly £3 million in spring.
A team from the Port of Immingham consisting of operations and engineers visited the Mantsinen factory in Finland last month to check on its build progress. It also gave them an opportunity to test the new crane simulator and see how it handles.
The incoming plant and machinery will replace older infrastructure, while existing cranes will undergo a million-pound major refurbishment. Those being refurbished include the Butterley cranes built in the1990s for the width of the locks in the ports of Immingham and Hull.
It has not yet been decided what some of the future cranage and attachments will be, giving ABP time to engage with the port community and ensure cranes are fit for purpose. It will include mobile harbour cranes and material handlers, with some more Reach Stackers and forklifts being ordered.
Bulks, break bulks and project cargo are all being catered for, to ensure offloading and delivery are covered. This includes a spend of £16m on maintenance capex on cargo handling landslide within Immingham Container Terminal (ICT) and Hull Container Terminal (HCT), and the stocking of spare parts as part of the port’s resilience.
What can be assured by ABP is that efficiency is a deciding factor, to ensure efficient cargo handling, and loading and unloading times are kept to a minimum.