Port of Cork’s Deepwater Capabilities Come to the Fore

Port of Cork’s Tier 1 Deepwater status comes to the fore as three new, ship-to-shore container cranes manufactured in Killarney by Liebherr and assembled in Cork Harbour are scheduled for delivery to Crowley Puerto Rico Services’ Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan later this month.

The cranes which are currently on board the Overseas Heavy Transport (OHT) vessel ‘Albatross’, transferred from Cork Dockyard to the Port of Cork’s Deepwater berth in Ringaskiddy to take on ballast before departure to San Juan. Each crane has a capacity of 65 tonnes and measures approximately 65 metres tall, with an outreach of 40 metres.

Ringaskiddy Deepwater berth is capable of handling vessels of this size and providing a fast and efficient turnaround of such vessels. Before the ‘Albatross’ departs, it will share the berth with the weekly Maersk container service from Central America, bringing the overall length of both vessels alongside to 414 metres.

Speaking about the Port of Cork’s capabilities as a “Tier 1 port of national significance” and a naturally deep water port, Commercial Manager Captain, Michael McCarthy said: “The Port of Cork is delighted to partner with Liebherr Cranes in selecting our Ringaskiddy Deepwater port to export their cranes to world markets. We have had an excellent relationship with Liebherr since the early 1990’s when we commissioned two cranes for our facility in Ringaskiddy. Since then we have grown our relationship with the company and all our port cranes are manufactured by Liebherr.”

While in Ringaskiddy the OHT vessel, which was originally designed as an oil tanker and converted to a crane carrier, will take on a large volume of water ballast in the lower ballast tanks to counteract the weight of the cranes on deck. Each crane weighs approx. 900 tonnes; however, the weight is evenly distributed on the main deck of the vessel. The cranes are then secured firmly (welded) to the deck of the vessel and as such they form a single composite unit.