Thunder Bay’s $3-million mobile harbour crane has passed its first major test.
On Friday the crane, capable of lifting more than 104 metric tonnes, transported three turbine tower segments from the Netherlands-flagged MV Vikingbank, marking its inaugural lift. Guy Jarvis, director of engineering and harbour master for the Thunder Bay Port Authority, said the milestone was a long time coming.
“We’ve been working on this for over a year now and it’s a great satisfaction for the Port Authority and a lot of the people involved in this project, from the mechanics and stevedores, there’s been a lot of people working on this for the past six weeks,” Jarvis said.
“We’re very excited to get this crane into operation.”
It’s not as easy as it looks, he added.
On Friday the crane seamlessly lifted the turbine shafts – weighing between 30 and 50 tonnes, Jarvis estimated – off the ship and onto waiting transports that will deliver the highly specialized parts to their Montana destination.
It’s also the start of what Jarvis believes will be a time of prosperity for the port.
“It definitely was a lot of work, but we were very enthusiastic and as you can see we’ve been very successful this morning. We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries and we’re hopefully going to be very, very busy in the upcoming years,” Jarvis said.
“We’re very hopeful the crane will bring lots of business. It has already been very busy this year. We’ve had 12 or 13 vessels and hopefully we can build on that success.”
Jarvis said inquiries are far and wide, since the crane arrived at the port earlier this summer.
“We’re getting inquiries from the oil sands people like Suncor and Husky and windmill manufacturers. Now that we’ve got the right (equipment) in there, we’ll win the jobs.”
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