Shanghai based Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC) has won a £100 million (US$177 million) contract to supply cranes for the Port of Liverpool’s exciting new deep-water construction on the River Mersey.

The owner of the port, Manchester-based Peel Ports, has placed an order for eight ship-to-shore megamax quay cranes and 22 mammoth cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes for its new £300 million port facility that is scheduled to open next year.

The new facility, known as “Liverpool2,” is expected to add an extra 500,000 containers annually to the port's capacity. It will take total annual volumes to around 2 million containers. The project will enable the Port of Liverpool to handle the world's largest container ships, currently too large  to be able to use the existing docks complex and cater for ships carrying up to 13,000 standard-sized containers, up from 5,000 at present.

These are great times for Liverpool following the success of their International Festival of business and it is clear that the city’s leaders have a very clear vision to reposition Liverpool as the main multimodal freight and logistics hub for this part of the United Kingdom. Their aspiration is for the port to rival leading international ports in New York, Dubai and Singapore.

shanghai cranes Container Cranes in Shanghai

Peel Ports' chief executive Mark Whitworth said: "This signing represents a significant investment for the long term and the most important investment at Port of Liverpool in the last 20 years. It will help position Liverpool2 as one of the fastest, most efficient container ports in the world, allowing over 90% of the global fleet to be handled at Liverpool, making it a real game changer for shipping lines."

"ZPMC are doing much more than supplying cranes. They are helping us to deliver a project aimed at changing the logistics flows in the UK, where the Port of Liverpool is currently the third largest container port and strategically important to trade with China," he added.

Peel own hundreds of hectares of derelict dockland, abandoned when container freight took over from traditional cargo ships. The company has unveiled an ambitious £5 billion (US$8.4 billion) plan to transform the old dockland with a Shanghai-style skyline, aiming to attract investments from China.

Liverpool Waters, as the regeneration of the old docklands has been named, has full backing from the British government who see the scheme as a nationally important project to create tens of thousands of jobs and boost Britain's economy.

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