Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World is stepping up container handling productivity at its flagship Jebel Ali Port by adding 1.5 million TEUs to Container Terminal 3 (T3).
The expansion, which increases the port’s capacity from 18 million TEU to 19.5 million TEU, is in response to emerging market demand, according to the company. T3 now has a capacity of 4 million TEU and will be the world’s largest semi-automated terminal, DP World said.
The first batch of 37 new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and 47 automated rail mounted gantry (ARMG) cranes are already operational.
“Increasing the handling capacity at Terminal 3 is in response to the high levels of utilisation at the port,” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World, said.
“Today, Jebel Ali has the capability to accommodate ten mega container ships simultaneously and we are on schedule to increase this number significantly,” he added.
The upgrade includes raising the heights of seven existing quay cranes by retrofitting them to meet the requirements of the new mega container vessels. The major refurbishing work will improve efficiency and productivity while prolonging the lifespan of the cranes. Shore-side expansion work will cover all the port’s functioning Container Terminals, T1, T2 and T3.
DP World, UAE Region handled 7.7 million TEU in the first half of 2017, growing 4.3% year-on-year.
Jebel Ali’s Container Terminal (T1) now has 15 ZPMC (Shanghai Zhenua Heavy Industries Company) replacement STS cranes, with 70 tonne twin-lift capability. Its capability is further strengthened by the crane heightening project, with six cranes being refitted to service the new container ships.
Container Terminal 2 (T2) will receive three STS and 12 ARMG cranes. The STS cranes are dual hoist tandem types capable of lifting two 40 TEU containers or four 20 TEU boxes, with a combined weight of 100 tonnes. Three existing cranes will be retro-fitted to raise their heights to handle the next generation vessels.
ZPMC is also commissioning the final six cranes of Jebel Ali’s Container Terminal 3 (T3) – single hoist tandem types capable of lifting up to 100 tonnes.
Meanwhile, in line with market demand, Container Terminal 4 (T4) will take delivery of 13 STS cranes, which are dual hoist tandem models able to lift a combined weight of 120 tonnes and 35 ARMG cranes that are the double cantilever/double truck lane types able to handle twin-lift containers to a combined weight of 70 tonnes.
Jebel Ali is one of the few ports in the Middle East capable of berthing multiple modern era megaships that have a carrying capacity of 18,000 TEU and more.