The third Chinese vessel, carrying six-yard cranes from Nantong, China, docked at the under-construction Vizhinjam International Seaport in Kerala on Monday.
The vessel, Zhen Hua 24, reached the port without any interruptions, unlike the first two ships, and was cleared to enter the port within hours after reaching the outer sea. According to port officials, the cranes will start unloading if the weather is favourable.
Zhen Hua 15, the first cargo ship carrying three cranes— one quay crane and two yard cranes — was initially not given permission to come ashore at Vizhinjam.
Following requests by the Adani Group, which is building the port, and the state government, the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) permitted three crew members to disembark under the supervision of two immigration officers. The ship finally docked at the port on 15 October and received a rousing reception from the state government in the presence of numerous dignitaries and a crowd of over 5,000.
Similarly, the second ship, named Zhen Hua 29, left Shanghai for Vizhinjam port on 24 October and reached the offshore on 10 November, obtaining immigration clearance after four days.
About six more ships with cranes will arrive before February, with each vessel requiring a separate permit.
Vizhinjam Port authorities have placed an order for eight Rail Mounted Quay Cranes and 24 Rail Mounted Gantry Cranes from the Shanghai-based company Zhenhua Port Machinery Company Limited.
The Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) crane is a specialised crane designed for precise and efficient movement of shipping containers from one location to another. RMG cranes are typically mounted on rails, allowing them to traverse the length of the terminal and position containers at specific storage locations or onto trucks for transport.
On the other hand, the Quay crane is a large dockside gantry crane found at container terminals for loading and unloading containers to and from container ships.
The Quay cranes to be employed at Vizhinjam port are of Super Post Panamax size, currently the world’s largest container crane size. These cranes will have a 65-tonne lifting capacity, enabling them to handle ships of Super Post Panamax size or 22 containers wide.
Eight more ships will call at Vizhinjam port with container cranes required for the under-construction port in the coming days, according to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated a reception for the first project cargo vessel at Vizhinjam.
The Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, which is building the port, is hopeful of completing the much-touted and delayed international container transshipment port at Vizhinjam by May 2024.
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