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Kalmar crane heightening pushes Malaysia’s Northport to greater heights

Adding another 10 years of container moves is a big bonus compared to having to invest in a completely new crane. Eelco de Lange, Director of Services Projects, Kalmar Crane Upgrades

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Services
The solution Container terminals

Malaysian port operator Northport chose Kalmar to refurbish eight quay cranes, with the goal of increasing their height and lifetime. Two of the cranes were heightened using a unique new jacking system developed by Kalmar.

Kalmar crane heightening lifts Northport in Malaysia to greater heights

Driven by the necessity to heighten its port cranes and modernize its installations, Malaysian port operator Northport chose Kalmar to refurbish eight quay cranes, two of which were heightened using, for the first time, a new jacking system developed by Kalmar.

The challenge

In an ever-changing world, companies must be prepared for transformations in a short period of time. The new cargo ships are getting bigger, so quay cranes need to be higher to handle larger vessels. The Panama Canal expansion, which will increase its capacity by 7,000 containers, is also going to affect world transport routes remarkably.

Given this situation, Malaysian port operator Northport contacted Kalmar to develop a new solution to increase the size and lifetime of its quay cranes, as none of the existing jacking equipment was designed for quay crane heightening.

The solution

A completely new jacking system was developed in a joint effort by teams in Rotterdam and Kuala Lumpur. The new system works with any brand of crane and can lift up to 2,645 tons, which is enough to handle the biggest quay cranes in the market.

The solution saves time and therefore money. It used to take four to six weeks to heighten a crane, but according to Colin Swee, Managing Director, Kalmar (Malaysia) “With our jacking system, we did all the ground preparation and heightening in just two weeks”. The solution was first put to use in December 2011.

The Northport project included a full refurbishment of eight quay cranes, which were modernized with a new AC electrical system that lowers maintenance costs.

The results

Customers are really interested in extending the lifetime of their cranes, according to Eelco de Lange, Director, Crane Upgrades. Adding an extra 10 years of container moves is a big bonus compared to having to invest in a completely new crane. The Malaysian port operator has a longstanding working partnership with Kalmar. Apart from this project, which was completed at the end of 2012, Northport placed an order for four Kalmar straddle carriers with a five-year service agreement.