Small gives way to large

The dismantling of three container gantry cranes at Burchardkai has begun: floating cranes are taking over from jibs.

A very unusual manoeuvre could be observed at the port of Waltershof at the beginning of July: the colossal floating crane Matador 3 was positioned next to the three container gantry cranes at CTB berth 1. It took apart their jibs one by one and transported them over the quay wall. This was the start of the dismantling of the three “small” pieces of container handling equipment, which will be replaced by state-of-the-art, considerably larger technology.

The first dual-trolley container gantry cranes in the world were installed in 1998 and at that time were considered a technical innovation. Similar, perfected models were later put to use at the CTA, but nowadays their predecessors can no longer be used for the largest container ships at Burchardkai. Their jibs are hung up and taken apart at the Burchardkai to make space for new cranes.

The first stage of dismantling the cranes was very swift and encountered no issues, despite the strong wind. As a first step, holes had to be burnt into the jibs for the crane ropes; the jibs were then peaked up for the last time and separated from their ties. After the jibs were lowered again, the floating crane could then grab them, turn them around carefully and put them down on the grounds of the terminal. The Matador 3, which comes from Rotterdam, can lift up to 1,500 tonnes, so the 128-tonne jib was tiny in comparison.