US carrier Matson has received three new 65t-capacity gantry cranes at its Honolulu hub terminal at Sand Island.

They were positioned for discharge after the ship-to-shore container cranes arrived onboard a special heavy-lift vessel.

Discharging the cranes from ship to shore involves a week-long process, which includes the deployment of special rails for them to roll off the delivery vessel and onto Matson’s dock.

Cranes will replace three older and smaller cranes, while the existing three 40t cranes will be upgraded to the same 11.5kV electrical system and fibre-optic cabling as the new ones.

Matson’s acquisition of the cranes, along with the upgrading of three existing cranes and other improvements, is part of a multi-year $60m terminal expansion and modernisation project at its Honolulu hub tied to the deployment of four new ships between 2018 and 2020.

“Cranes will replace three older and smaller cranes, while the existing three 40t cranes will be upgraded to the same 11.5kV electrical system.”

The 1,290t cranes were built by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding.

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Compared to existing cranes, they will have greater lifting capacity, height and reach, and are expected to become operational in the third quarter of this year.

Prior to this, structural bracing installed for the cranes’ ocean delivery will be removed and extensive testing will be carried out on each crane’s main functions and technology.

The company announced in August 2017 that a subsidiary of Matson Navigation Company signed contracts with Paceco for the purchase of the new cranes.

Matson’s fleet of owned and chartered vessels includes containerships, combination container and roll-on/roll-off ships and custom-designed barges.