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Wilmington, N.C. awaits crane delivery

Wilmington, N.C. awaits crane delivery

North Carolina State Ports Authority says improvements at the Port of Wilmington have been completed that will allow installation of four new container cranes.

   The port said four new container cranes are in transit from the ZPMC manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China, and will be delivered to the port in mid-February. The cranes are expected to be in operation in April.

   The new cranes will be able reach across 18 rows of containers, compared to the 13-container reach of the port's current cranes.

   The new cranes 'are capable of handling the largest ships that can navigate the Cape Fear River's 42-foot channel,' said Thomas J. Eagar, CEO of the North Carolina State Ports Authority.

   'The cranes are the key components of Wilmington's five-year, $143 million container terminal expansion,' Eagar said. 'With the 42-foot shipping channel, berth improvements, new reach stackers and new cranes, the Port of Wilmington’s expansion program over the next three years will nearly triple our capacity based on current volumes.'

   Additional improvements in terminal operations and more open paved storage areas will boost the annual capacity of Wilmington's container terminal to 400,000 TEU.

   The port handled 166,625 TEU in 2006.

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