Trailer suction hopper dredger Willem van Oranje is due to return to the construction site of Liverpool2 container terminal (L2) early next month to continue infilling the quay area. The infilling will be completed this summer ahead of the arrival of five ship-to-shore (STS) megamax quay cranes ordered from Chinese builder ZPMC.
“The cranes are due to arrive in September, ahead of a planned opening date of late December 2015,” a spokesman for L2 owner Peel Ports told IHS Maritime
Work to reclaim 12 ha of land beside the Mersey River has already completed its first stage with further infilling about to recommence. Most of the 296 steel piles needed have been driven into the seabed, allowing the infilling of 1.43 million tonnes of sand and silts taken from the Mersey estuary and deposited behind the new quay wall, up to a level of 6 m above ordinary datum. Willem van Oranje, operated by Dutch specialist Van Oord, has a handling capacity of 10,000 m3 (21,000 tonnes).
“We can only carry out the installation of anchor blocks and other infrastructure…for a maximum of eight hours each day – two hours either side of each low tide,” said L2’s construction director Doug Coleman. “The one benefit is that the weight of water during high tide helps to compress the infilled material.”
Related news:Liverpool2 will create 5,000 jobs
Last year Peel Ports Group signed a multimillion pound deal with Shanghai-based ZPMC for 17 ‘mega cranes’ – the five megamax cranes and 12 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) for phase 1 of the project. A further three quay cranes and 10 CRMGs were ordered for phase 2.
The combined handling capacity of the megamax STS cranes and CRMGs will dramatically increase the port‘s productivity and efficiency.
The UK government is keen to promote the major cities of the north of England as an industrial powerhouse and alongside plans to upgrade road and rail infrastructure, it wants to encourage greater use of Liverpool by deepsea and shortsea vessels, plus the inland vessels that benefit from the ship canal connecting the port to Manchester, the north’s largest city.