Chattogram port is all set to get four more quayside gantry cranes by the coming week which will enhance the port’s efficiency in handling containers to and from vessels.
The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) purchased the cranes from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company at a cost of Tk 238.63 crore for its New Mooring Container Terminal.
The four are on way from China on vessel De Bo-3, which may arrive at the port’s outer anchorage by July 20 or a day later, said CPA Chief Engineer (mechanical) Aminul Islam.
It will take two weeks to unload the four on the jetty if favourable weather persists and a month more to install and bring into operation, he added.
With the addition, the terminal will have 10 such cranes, 12 years past its construction incorporating five jetties.
Last year the port procured six gantry cranes from the company at a cost of Tk 344.92 crore, 13 years after procuring four others which were engaged in two jetties of Chattogram Container Terminal. Containers have traditionally been handled in other port jetties with the help of geared vessels, or those having cranes on board.
The lack of gantry cranes forced the port for long to allow small geared vessels while leaving it unable to allow more gearless vessels, which are capable of carrying more containers.
Port users including the business communities have long been raising voice to purchase more gantry cranes, particularly after the New Mooring Container Terminal’s construction in 2007, for boosting container handling capacity.
Tarafdar Ruhul Amin, managing director of Saif Powertech, the private berth operator of the New Mooring and Chattogram container terminals, said one crane could handle 25 to 30 containers per hour while those on ships 15 to 19.
He said this would enable container vessels to load, unload and leave jetties faster.