Local links to giant US-bound cranes

September 11th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Brian Moore

Three go past the Seven: The 173m long ‘Big Lift Baffin’ seen off the Seven Heads coastline in Barryroe, last week, on its way to New Jersey with its three major cranes on board. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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WEST Cork expertise was at the forefront recently as three giant ship-to-shore cranes were loaded and sent on their way from Cobh to New York on board the ‘BigLift Baffin’.

The cranes, some of the largest in the world, were designed and manufactured by Liebherr Container Cranes in Killarney, and were then moved to Cobh where they were assembled in the Doyle Shipping Group’s (DSG) terminal in Cobh and loaded onto the mega ship.

Ship-to-shore container cranes are often transported in large pre-assembled components for assembly on site at the destination port. However, they can also be shipped fully assembled, particularly when assembly space is limited.

Meanwhile, as the BigLift Baffin got ready to depart on her 10-day voyage to New York, on board the tug DSG Titan was Bantry man and skipper Mick Kelly assisted by Brian Hayes from Rosscarbery who guided the huge vessel out of Cork harbour.

The Doyle Shipping Group, owners and operators of the tugs DSG Titan and DSG Alex with chief engineer Colm O’Donovan, also from Rosscarbery, provided welding and lashing gangs to assist with securing the huge cranes onboard the ship.

The cranes then set off on their 10-day journey to the Maher Terminals LLC at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

This is the third group of Liebherr ship-to-shore container cranes to be shipped from Cobh, following three cranes sent to Puerto Rico and a further two to the Port of Hull in the UK, but the shipment to New York is the largest set of STS cranes ever to ship from Cobh.

When they enter service in a few months, they will work on megamax-size container vessels and will move many millions of containers over the course of their lifetime.

‘With these latest technically advanced machines working alongside the other Liebherr STS cranes at the Port, we are confident Maher Terminals will be able to offer improved services and faster turnarounds to their customers and continue to grow as North America’s largest marine container terminal,’ said Liebherr’s managing director (sales) Gerry Bunyan.

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