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Rail News: Intermodal

Port of Virginia, Konecranes OK pact for 86 automated stacking cranes

The Port of Virginia will finalize a $217 million contract with Konecranes for the manufacture and delivery of 86 automated-stacking cranes as part of the expansion projects at the Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced yesterday.

The order will be the largest of its kind for this type of crane in the history of the industry, Port of Virginia officials said in a press release.

The port's board ratified the deal with Konecranes yesterday. The contract award will cover the purchase of 86 rail-mounted automated stacking cranes: 60 of the cranes will go to NIT and 26 will be headed to VIG. Delivery begins in 2018 and will continue in phases until 2020.

"Once the construction is done and these cranes are in place and operational, our port will have the capacity to process an additional 1 million containers annually, have the channel depth to handle the biggest ships in the Atlantic trade and double-stack rail service offered by Norfolk Southern [Railway] and CSX to some of the nation's most important markets," said McAuliffe.

The cost of the cranes is included in the overall costs of the VIG and NIT expansion projects. VIG's expansion is expected to cost $321 million, and NIT's, $350 million.

Konecranes will manufacture the cranes' main components in Finland. The steel structures will be manufactured elsewhere in Europe.

While Konecranes will provide the cranes, the company will partner with TMEIC for the automation technology that will drive the units. TMEIC is a joint venture between Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric. TMEIC also will provide the yard automation infrastructure and the remote operating stations.

By 2020, the port will have expanded the container handling capacity at VIG by 600,000 units and the capacity at NIT by 400,000 units; the combined cost of the projects is $670 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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