The relatively new Liverpool2 container port has become quite a landmark on the Liverpool bank of the River Mersey. I took some photos from the west coast of the Wirral peninsula of the giant cranes at the Liverpool2 container terminal as part of my blog about Thurstaston back in January 2017: https://briansimpsons.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/around-thurstaston-common/
However if you visit New Brighton you are right opposite the container terminal and you can get a real close up of the giant red cranes which dominate the skyline.
The cranes were built in China and were transported up the River Mersey in November 2015 having set off from Shanghai on the Chinese ship the Zhen Hua23 in August 2015. They arrived after a long 18,000 mile journey travelling through South East Asia, past India and the Arabian Peninsula before rounding the Cape of Good Hope and South Africa. They lay in port in the Canaries for a few weeks awaiting the final works to be completed at the Port of Liverpool ready for their installation.
The super-structures were produced by Chinese company, Zhenhua Heavy Industries, who are reputably the largest heavy duty equipment manufacturer in the world. The contract with Peel Ports; who have developed the new deep water container terminal; is said to be worth more than £100m. A total of eight ship-to-shore megamax cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes are being supplied to Peel Ports as part of the company’s £300m investment programme to expand and develop the Port of Liverpool.
Each crane measures 92 metres high to the top of the frame, approximately the same as the Royal Liver Building, and 132 metres high when the boom is raised. Each crane weighs around 1,600 tonnes.
The construction of the terminal started in 2013. Following its opening in November 2016 Liverpool2 became the UK’s largest transatlantic deep-sea port and container terminal and the investment in facilities allow it to accommodate the majority of the world’s current container fleet, including the very largest of modern container vessels which are just too large to navigate the existing Liverpool container terminal. The new facility employs around 500 people.
The cranes will have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30 moves per hour and they will be capable of picking up 24 containers up to 10 high on deck. The fleet of cranes is supported by a multi-million pound investment in quayside facilities and support technology.
The construction of the new terminal necessitated laying 30,000 cubic metres of concrete, the installation of 15,000m of steel piles and 6,100m of new crane rails. Dredging the river involved removal of approximately five million cubic metres of material from the river bed. More than 500,000 cubic metres of material was deposited around Taylor’s Bank and other licensed offshore sites.
The new container terminal is just one of the projects that the land owner Peel Group wish to undertake with their Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters projects which they hope will transform the River Mersey waterfront over the next twenty years.