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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. Collin Swee, Managing Director Kalmar Malaysia

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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 of heightening its port cranes and modernised 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 and thus, quay cranes need to be higher to handle larger vessels. The Panama Canal expansion, which will increase its capability in 7.000 containers, is also going to affect remarkably world transport routes.

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

The solution

A completely new jacking system was developed in a joint effort of teams in Rotterdam and Kuala Lumpur. The new system works with any brand of crane and can lift up to 2,400 metric tonnes, 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 Collin 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 modernised with new AC electrical system that lowers maintenance costs.

The results

Customers are really interested in extending the lifetime of their cranes according to Collin Swee. “Adding another 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 in the end of 2012, Northport placed an order for four Kalmar straddle carriers with five year service agreement.