Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
In March 2019, BEST container terminal in the Port of Barcelona, received six new automated cranes (ASC) from the Finnish supplier Konecranes, thereby increasing its storage capacity from 24 to 27 automated blocks. Currently, these blocks are being assembled and tested and they are expected to be fully operational in June this year. This was reported by BEST on 6 May.
These electric rail-mounted cranes are complimentary to Hutchison Ports Group’s commitment to building an efficient and environmentally sustainable terminal in the Port of Barcelona. (See illustration here.)
Guillermo Belcastro, Hutchison Ports BEST CEO stated: ‘This investment will result in a significant increase in operational and storage capacity at the terminal and will contribute to our continuous improvement of service levels both in maritime and land operations.’
Currently, BEST has eleven Super Post-Panamax quay cranes that are able to operate the biggest vessels in the world, 48 ASCs, two rail terminal cranes (RMGs) and 30 Shuttle Carriers to operate the terminal which occupies 80 Ha and has a 1,500-metre berth with a depth of 16.5 metres.
Since its official inauguration in September 2012, BEST has continued to set new standards for ports in Southern Europe achieving a ship productivity rate of more than 200 movements per hour and a sustained average performance of more than 40 movements per hour and by crane, one of the highest in the world it is claimed.
Hutchison Ports BEST is the first semi-automated terminal developed by Hutchison Ports Group. In addition to being the most technologically advanced project in Spain, the facilities have one of the most modern gate systems in Europe and one of the largest railway terminals within a container terminal in the Mediterranean, with eight mixed gauge tracks (Iberian 1668mm and UIC 1435 mm), connecting BEST daily with different points of Spain and the South of France.
This terminal is capable of serving several mega-vessels simultaneously and has an eight-track railway facility, the biggest on-dock railway terminal of any port in the Mediterranean, connecting it to traffic coming from and destined for Southern Europe.
Hutchison Ports BEST is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 51 ports spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.
It was reported on 19 September that ABB will install the Port of Incheon’s first shore-to-ship power facility, enabling passenger vessels to cut emissions, noise and vibrations at the berth
ABB has secured the contract covering the Republic of Korea’s commitment to sustainable shore-to-ship power, after a pilot scheme for passenger ships to plug into the local grid received approval from Incheon Port Authority (IPA). (Our attached illustration is reproduced by kind permission of the Port of Incheon ©)
Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports commented: ‘As the first agreement covering shore-to-ship power in South Korea, this is a truly significant breakthrough for ABB. We are honoured to be selected by IPA to support their efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships, as well as moving towards increasingly sustainable port operations.’
In addition to a new $160 million ferry terminal opened in April 2019, the Port of Incheon inaugurated South Korea’s largest cruise terminal in June this year. Given its metropolitan location and IPA’s ambitions to develop its ‘Golden Harbor’ vision for Incheon as a new tourism hub for the Northeast Asia, environmental credentials rank highly in port priorities, it is reported.
At the start of this year’s London International Shipping Week on 9 September Nusrat Ghani, Maritime Minister, on behalf of the UK Government, confirmed that it will enable construction of a new advanced ship for the General Lighthouse Authority, Trinity House, to replace the ageing THV Patricia (illustrated, © Trinity House), built in 1982 by Henry Robb of Leith.
The new vessel, yet to be named, will provide and service aids to navigation in some of the most dangerous waters, marking channels and hazards and taking advantage of the latest technology.
Of this provision Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani, said: ‘Our maritime sector is crucial to UK trade with 95% of our imports and exports transported by sea. With our waters becoming busier all the time, dealing with incidents quickly and efficiently is more important than ever. This new ship will support the General Lighthouse Authority to help future-proof their fleet and continue to support maritime safety and trade for generations to come.’