New £500,000 crane to lift Sunderland’s port

Dated: 29/05/2012'Sunderland City Council Leader Paul Watson (2nd from left) and Sunderland City Council  Cabinet Secretary Mel Spedding (right) pictured with Port of Sunderland Port Director Matthew Hunt (2nd from right) and Port of Sunderland Cargo Manager Keith Middleton (left) and the new �500,000 Liebherr crane which has started work at the Port of Sunderland.'Sunderland City Council invested in the crane to help boost cargo handling capacities and business opportunities.'Fao Jeremy Wicking, Sunderland City Council Press office. #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
Dated: 29/05/2012'Sunderland City Council Leader Paul Watson (2nd from left) and Sunderland City Council Cabinet Secretary Mel Spedding (right) pictured with Port of Sunderland Port Director Matthew Hunt (2nd from right) and Port of Sunderland Cargo Manager Keith Middleton (left) and the new �500,000 Liebherr crane which has started work at the Port of Sunderland.'Sunderland City Council invested in the crane to help boost cargo handling capacities and business opportunities.'Fao Jeremy Wicking, Sunderland City Council Press office. #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
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A £500,000 investment is set to provide a real lift to the Port of Sunderland.

Sunderland City Council has invested the cash in a Liebherr crane to help increase the amount of cargo the port can handle.

The port has seen a 360-degree turn in business during the last 10 years.

There had been concerns just a few years ago that the site may close due to a lack of business, however investment and a series of new contracts have helped transform its fortunes.

Council leader Coun Paul Watson is chairman of the Port Board.

He said: “The new crane can go, quite literally, along any of the quaysides and working areas in the Port of Sunderland.

“It’s going to bring some significant benefits.

“Buying the crane represents a good investment in the port’s handling capacity.”

The Port of Sunderland is the UK’s second largest municipally-owned port.

Planned changes to the road infrastructure in the city also means better links between the port and main routes in and out of the region could soon be established.

The Liebherr A944C HD wheeled excavator can handle all quay surface types, driving on wheels and operating off pads, and is capable of loading and discharging cargoes into ships up to 5,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT).

It has load capacities of up to four tonnes at a working radius of 18 metres and a maximum lift height of 20 metres.

One of its first jobs was loading scrap metal bound for Europe.

Port director Matthew Hunt said: “The board considered the business case, approved the purchase and now we’ve taken delivery of a very precise and efficient piece of very mobile plant machinery.

“It’s going to provide important new additional capacity to more efficiently meet our trading obligations over the ten year period.”

The port already has rail mounted cranes at Corporation Quay and other mobile crane capacity includes a Liebherr Harbour Mobile 150.

The new acquisition is the latest development in plans for the port to boost the port’s business as the region steps up its involvement in the offshore wind energy sector.

As reported in the Echo, a new sales manager, Mark Hassan, has been appointed this month to raise the port’s profile.

“The Port of Sunderland has some incredible assets that I really do believe will allow it to compete on a regional and national stage,” he said.

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