Commuters on the West Gate Bridge witnessed a spectacular sight early this morning when the purpose built vessel, Zhen Hua 26, passed under the bridge with a 104.5m high new Ship to Shore container crane aboard for delivery to Patrick’s East Swanson Dock terminal.
The vessel was guided by two sea pilots as it made its way up the Yarra River before completing a 180 degree turn to berth at the northern end of East Swanson Dock.
The massive crane, which is able to service even larger vessels calling at Melbourne, has been purchased by Patrick Corporation and represents a significant investment in Australasia’s largest container port.
In a carefully planned operation coordinated by Port of Melbourne Corporation’s (PoMC’s) shipping and navigation team, together with Patrick’s Operations team and Port Phillip Sea Pilots, the vessel passed under the West Gate Bridge at low tide with 2.4 metres clearance.
Welcoming the crane, PoMC Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Bradford, said:
“I congratulate Patrick on their initiative and foresight in undertaking this substantial capital investment which will ultimately boost the productivity at the busiest container port in the nation.
“As vessel sizes increase, the port needs the accompanying infrastructure to handle those vessels efficiently.
“This investment helps meet that need and we are delighted to welcome this Patrick crane as an essential piece of infrastructure to help load and unload the 7000 containers this port handles daily.”
Source: Port of Melbourne, August 2, 2012; Image: Fremantle Ports