Crane helps Port to hit new heights

Looking up: With the new Liebherr mobile crane at Port of Sunderland are (from left) Keith Middleton, cargo operations manager at the Port, David Vaughan, general manager at Liebherr Maritime Cranes, and Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council.

Looking up: With the new Liebherr mobile crane at Port of Sunderland are (from left) Keith Middleton, cargo operations manager at the Port, David Vaughan, general manager at Liebherr Maritime Cranes, and Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council.

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PORT of Sunderland has been given a real lift by its latest acquisition.

The Sunderland City Council-owned port has taken delivery of a new Liebherr mobile crane with a lifting capability of 121 tonnes – more than double that of the Port’s current crane – which will travel from Corporation Quay round the port to Greenwells Quay.

City council leader Coun Paul Watson, who is also chairman of the Port board, said: “This is a major investment for us, but one that we know will reap rewards. The Port’s current capabilities mean that, to cater for bigger projects, we need to hire in equipment at a significant cost per day.

“Having the facility to manage these lifts ourselves is a huge boost – and one that will not only allow us to deliver better value to our customers but that will allow us to more effectively tap into the subsea market, which often demands large structures to be lifted on to or off vessels.”

Port director Matthew Hunt said the new acquisition would join a crane bought last year, which was already paying for itself.

“A year on from the purchase of the last crane, and we are delighted with the impact it has had on business,” he said. “It is used almost every day, and means we have the equipment and facilities to compete with other ports across the UK.

“This new crane order will further strengthen our offer and will give us the opportunity to compete for more materials handling work, something we could not do without this capital investment. It is another major boost for us, and a sign of the commitment we have from the council to invest in the Port, which we believe can once again be a major economic driver.”