November 17 - Associated British Ports (ABP) has invested GBP1.6 million (USD2.4 million) in a new mobile harbour crane at the UK's Port of Newport.
The new machine - a Liebherr LHM 180 mobile harbour crane - has a lifting capacity of 64 tonnes and an outreach of 35 m. Its rubber tyres mean that it can be easily moved around the port for use on all its quays.
The Port of Newport, which is owned and operated by ABP, handled 1.85 million tonnes of cargo in 2014, an increase of more than 20 percent compared with the previous year. Significant growth was seen in 2014 in steel imports and exports, as well as in the agricultural sector.
ABP hopes that the new crane will help improve efficiency at the port as it handles increasing volumes of cargo.
"The Port of Newport is a major port servicing both the Welsh and wider UK economies by handling cargo that supports the manufacturing, construction, steel, and agricultural sectors," said ABP port manager for Cardiff and Newport, Chris Green.
The Liebherr model was produced in Liebherr's Nenzing factory in Austria, and was shipped into the UK ABP's Port of Hull before continuing its journey by road to the Port of Newport. It is now operational at the port.
Although primarily used for the handling of bulk materials, Liebherr explained that the crane is also fitted with a powered rotating hook to handle project cargo and containers. The addition of this new LHM 180 brings the total number of Liebherr mobile harbour cranes based at ABP Newport to three.
Other key investments at the Port of Newport over the last 18 months include GBP2.76 million (USD4.19 million) on the redevelopment of Atlantic Shed, GBP3.3 million (USDD5.01 million) on renewable energy projects, GBP1.7 million (USD2.58 million) on a new rail bridge, GBP1.6 million (USD2.43 million) on another new mobile harbour crane and GBP1.1 million (USD1.67 million) on quay strengthening works.
Newport's new crane.
Meanwhile, at ABP's Port of Southampton, Nick Ridehalgh will be stepping down from his role as director by the end of the first half of 2016.
Ridehalgh joined ABP in 1991 and was appointed director of ABP Southampton at the start of 2014 after six years of running ABP's short sea ports division.
During the first half of 2016, Ridehalgh will be returning to the northwest UK but will remain with the group in his current role until the search for a suitable successor is complete.