April 22, 2014 zoom Peel Ports Group has awarded a multi-million pound contract to Shanghai-based Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. (ZPMC) to supply state-of-the-art mega container cranes for its new ‘Liverpool2’ development project.ZPMC will initially supply five ship-to-shore (STS) megamax quay cranes and 12 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) for phase 1 of the contract, and a further 3 STS cranes and 10 CMRGs for the phase 2 of the project.The £300 million investment programme by Peel Ports to expand and develop the existing Port of Liverpool will see Liverpool2 become the UK’s largest transatlantic deep-sea port and container terminal.Once completed in late 2015, it will be able to accommodate most of the world’s current fleet of container vessel types and will offer shipping lines a unique opportunity to connect ships of up to 13,500 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) directly to the heart of the UK.The new container handling equipment will be capable of handling two 380m vessels simultaneously, and ultimately will have a capacity of over one million TEU.With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail. They will also have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30mph and wind speeds of up to 55mph (88kmph).The fleet of STS and CRMG cranes will be supported by a multi-million pound investment in state-of-the-art quayside facilities and support technology, including a fully-integrated Navis N4 terminal operating system, autogates and ABB equipment controls. Together, the investments will make Liverpool2 one of the most operationally efficient and modern terminals in Northern Europe.Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “We have anticipated the future demands and growth of the industry, to ensure that our investment in infrastructure and technology is both flexible and adaptable to the current and future delivery-critical needs of our customers.”“Integral to our investment in leading-edge equipment is the aim of achieving energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. In addition, a key benefit of the enhanced operations when the facility is completed will be the significant increase in cargo capacity, which will also stimulate the economy of the North-west and further afield,” added Mr. Whitworth.The Port of Liverpool currently handles a diverse range of cargo, including bulk solids and liquids, RORO and containers. In 2012 it was named by leading industry journal Containerisation International as Port Authority of the Year in recognition of its progressive and innovative approach ‘beyond the port gates’.The cutting-edge ‘megamax’ and CRMG cranes are being designed and manufactured by ZPMC, which has more than 76% of the market share for container cranes throughout 79 countries and was the first recipient of a National Science and Progress Award in China in recognition of its research and innovation.