Western Stevedoring, a company of the Western Shipyard Group, has updated its current technology park and purchased an E-Crane of an impressive size and capacity for handling cargoes. The electric crane of new generation is environmentally friendly, which will contribute to the realisation of the ‘green port’ vision of the Klaipėda port.
The latest significant investment of Western Stevedoring – the 31-ton lifting capacity electro-hydraulic gantry crane for loading bulk and loose bulk cargoes – was put into operation at the beginning of September. This fast and extremely precise E-Crane with a boom of 42 meters is the largest crane of its kind in the Baltic States.
The new technology is expected to significantly increase the throughput of quays and enable loading a greater number and larger ships in less time. According to estimations, the loading capacity of loose bulk and bulk cargoes will increase by about 40 percent.
Until now, the loading of Handysize-type vessels using the available equipment took approximately six days, while using the new crane it will be possible in just four days. The quantities of the equipment and the number of people involved in the loading process will also decrease. For instance, the technological chain when loading scrap metal into a Handysize-type vessel normally consists of 18 workers per shift. With the help of the new crane, the number of workers participating in the loading process within one shift will be reduced to 6-7 persons. By increasing technological capabilities and reducing the need for physical work we hope to enhance the safety of our operations and resolve the problem of the lack of skilled workers.
Another advantage is that now the loading processes will be less dependent on the changeable weather of the port city, as the capabilities of the new crane allow carrying out work in winds of up to 25m/s, while the other loading equipment could only be used in wind gusts of less than 15m/s for safety reasons.
According to Gediminas Rimkus, Director at Western Stevedoring, the need for the investment arose when the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority improved the infrastructure conditions and increased the depth at the quay operated by Western Stevedoring to 13.5m, as until then the depth reached only 9 meters. These changes opened up new opportunities for Western Stevedoring to accept large-tonnage Panamax-type ships for loading.
‘The fact that today the company has the opportunity to operate the largest electro-hydraulic gantry crane in the Baltic States, to acquire the latest loading technologies and to develop stable operations is due to successfully realised investments in improving the company’s infrastructure. Last year, the company was recognised the fastest growing loading company in the port of Klaipėda. We also signed a long-term contract with a well-known metal export company and committed to load at least 400,000 tons of scrap metal cargo per year. These achievements encouraged us to purchase new equipment that would help us work even more efficiently and effectively. We will continue to strive to expand our activities, to increase loading capacity and to be a technologically advanced company able to apply modern technologies, save energy resources, improve work productivity and achieve even better operational results’, said the head of the company.