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New 88ft crane coming to Hamilton docks

A multi-million dollar statuesque Dutch beauty will soon be overlooking Hamilton Harbour welcoming goods into Bermuda.

Standing at 88 feet tall and weighing in at 255 tonnes, a new mobile harbour crane built in Holland is to be installed at Hamilton’s main port, signalling what the dock operators say is a sign of their confidence in Bermuda’s economic future.

“The purchase of this crane at $4 million is an investment in the future of Bermuda and a statement of our commitment and confidence in our country’s economic recovery,” said chairman of Polaris Holdings Ltd, Raymond Medeiros, the parent company of Stevedoring Services, the contracted port operator.

The new crane will replace one of the company’s two cranes that are used to service the three dedicated cargo ships that supply Bermuda “with everything from perishable goods to toilet paper”.

Because of the limited space and assembly facilities in Bermuda, the new crane is to be fully assembled in the North Sea Port of Rotterdam, Holland and shipped to the Island. It is expected to arrive within the next few months.

Despite Bermuda’s struggling economy and declining resident numbers, the company feels that just operating with one crane alone, would not be sufficient.

“Two cranes are needed to keep the flow of goods off the dock in a timely fashion,” Peter Aldrich, CEO and general manager of Stevedoring Services Ltd. “Otherwise you’d see a large delay in getting food to supermarkets.”

He acknowledged that there has been a slow down of goods coming into Bermuda but that the purchase of the new crane should be seen as an investment in the future.

“In the interest of our country, we are hopeful of Bermuda coming out of the recession and when it does we have the infrastructure in place to service the demands that we saw back in 2006 and 2007,” he said.

One of the company’s two cranes is currently out of service and they’ve been operating with a rental unit. Both of the current cranes are actually construction cranes modified to work on the harbour.

“We deemed that it was too expensive to repair the out-of-service crane so it was time to bite the bullet and replace it,” he said. “This is a purpose built mobile harbour crane.”

“This is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment fully capable of meeting all of our service requirements for the foreseeable future,” added Mr Aldrich. “The fact that it will be shipped fully assembled from Europe and lifted off by a special heavy lift shift will be quite a spectator event”.

According to Mr Aldrich, the new crane is significantly larger and heavier than the current one and will have the same lifting capacity but will be able to reach further over ships, meaning that they can service larger vessels, if needed.

Asked whether the dock can support a 255-tonne structure, he said: “We have conducted engineering surveys with the Corporation of Hamilton along with our insurers have determined that the dock can handle the weight of the crane and its load.”

The crane will be built by German company Gottwald Port Technology GmbH.

Heavy lifter: A crane like the one about to be brought to Hamilton docks

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Published February 08, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 08, 2012 at 8:49 am)

New 88ft crane coming to Hamilton docks

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