For Immediate Release
October 16, 2000
Port of Oakland's Giant Cranes to Sail In Under the Golden Gate October 19-24, 2000
The Port of Oakland is poised to accept delivery of what are the four largest container cranes in the world! The huge new cranes are sailing across the Pacific Ocean from Shanghai, China aboard the "Zhen Hua 4" vessel. After a journey of just over three weeks time, the four huge new super-Panamax class container cranes are due to arrive in the Bay Area between October 19th and 24th. The cranes will be installed at the Port of Oakland's new 120-acre Hanjin Terminal that is now under construction. The Hanjin Terminal is scheduled to open January 2001. This arrival of the new cranes visibly marks the birth of Vision 2000, the Port's Maritime expansion project that will extend over five years.
Once here, the "Zhen Hua 4" will have to sit outside the Golden Gate for two days in preparation for actual delivery to the Port of Oakland. The crew will have to lower the booms on the enormous cranes so they will be able to pass safely under the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.
These giant cranes each have the capacity to lift 65 long tons (145,600 Ibs) at one time. They have the widest outreach of any cranes in the world -- 201 feet -- and they are the fastest cranes as well, with a hoisting speed of 230 feet a minute lifting a rated load. The cranes will be able to accommodate the newer wider container ships currently being used in the maritime industry. They have the ability to load or discharge over thirty cargo containers per hour. The four new cranes cost $5.5 million each and feature the very latest technology available.
"The arrival of Oakland's new cranes," stated Charles Foster, Executive Director for the Port of Oakland, "marks a significant milestone in our maritime expansion program. We've received Federal authorization to deepen our navigational channels to -50', the funding is currently being appropriated by Congress, and we're moving forward with the construction of new berths and a joint intermodal terminal. Our vision for the Port of Oakland is in clear focus."
Resembling huge prehistoric beasts, the four identical cranes were constructed by Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC). They will soon join Oakland's existing inventory of thirty-one container cranes already in operation. One commonly told story relates that George Lucas modeled the "Imperial Walkers" of Star Wars movie fame after Oakland's container cranes. Whatever their mythology, the Port of Oakland's container cranes certainly help define the Bay Area's skyline as one of the most recognizable in the world.
Up to six additional cranes have been ordered from ZPMC for the adjacent 150-acre Berth 57 58 facility being built adjacent to the Hanjin Terminal. Stevedoring Services of America has signed a Letter of Intent to operate that facility when it opens in 2003. When completed, the two new terminals will provide an additional 1,000,000 TEUs of annual container capacity to the Port of Oakland. The Port of Oakland currently ranks as the fourth largest and busiest container port in the country.
Advisory. There will be a special event celebrating the arrival of the Port of Oakland's new cranes after they have passed under the Bay Bridge and entered Oakland waters. We will keep you informed as to the actual date and time of arrival and any ceremonial events
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