Video: Liebherr completes STS crane lift-height extension in Australia

17 January 2023

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Liebherr Container Cranes – a manufacturer of ship-to-shore (STS) container cranes, rail-mounted gantry cranes and rubber-tyre gantry cranes – has completed its first STS lift height increase with its new patented jacking system.

The operation was conducted under the supervision of Liebherr engineers at Patrick Terminals – Brisbane Autostrad, which is located on the eastern coast of Australia, and as part of Liebherr-Transform, Liebherr’s upgrade and modification service. Liebherr has two STS container cranes at the terminal, a new STS currently being commissioned and an STS that was supplied in 2015. The 2015 crane had a lift height of 37.5m, but with larger vessels calling at the port, a lift-height extension to 40.0m was required.

Liebherr has been carrying out lift-height extensions for many years, but in 2022 a new patented jacking system was deployed at the Brisbane terminal for its first use. Designed and built by Liebherr Container Cranes in Ireland, a key feature of the system is that it uses the crane’s end carriage as a solid base for jacking the crane structure, eliminating the requirement for additional equipment. And since the system uses the crane structure as a basis for jacking, the loadings are low and are carried through the existing crane.

Preparation takes a couple of weeks and the system allows the crane to be jacked in position or moved back from the rails for jacking if required. Liebherr says the actual crane raise and the insertion of the extensions can be completed in hours and so is suited to terminals prone to high winds, while the whole process can be completed from a minimum of four weeks per crane. Following completion of the project, the jacks are containerised and shipped onwards for their next deployment.

GCT New York, a full-service container and cargo handling facility located on Staten Island in the US, is set to work in partnership with Liebherr USA to undertake a Liebherr-Transform project to extend the lift height of four Liebherr STS container cranes.

Supplied in 2004, the cranes have a lift height of 36.57m and an outreach of 50m, but the Liebherr-Transform project will extend the lift height of the cranes by 8.6m and the outreach by 5m. When complete, the cranes will have the ability to work the largest vessels calling at the port of New York/New Jersey.

Speaking about the project, Torsten Paas, divisional manager Liebherr USA, said: “We have worked closely with our customers in GCT New York to develop a tailor-made solution that will meet their growth needs over the coming years. In line with the well-known life expectancy of Liebherr cranes, GCT can expect many more years of quality service from their existing machines. The project serves as a clear example of the real-world benefits of Liebherr-Transform. GCT will benefit from extended operational ability of their cranes at a fraction of the cost of replacing their cranes.”

The Liebherr Group includes over 140 companies across all continents. In 2021, it employed more than 49,000 staff and achieved combined revenues of over €11.6bn.

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The STS has been jacked up, waiting for the extensions to be moved into place.
Detail view of the STS waiting for the extensions.
The leg extensions are put into place.