US-based Port Houston has taken delivery of three new super-post-Panamax cranes from China’s Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC).

The new ship-to-shore cranes are slated to be deployed at the port’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal to increase its overall cargo-handling efficiency and capacity.

The cranes will be 270ft-high after installation and were brought into the US by the M/V ZHEN HAU 13 specialised heavy across the seas from China.

Port Houston expects the cranes to be operational by the first quarter of next year.

The purchase of the new equipment forms part of a wider $700m modernisation programme that is currently taking place at the Barbours Cut facility.

The Port Commission of Port Houston originally approved a deal to buy the newly delivered super-post-Panamax cranes for a total sum of $33.5m in 2015, and the first of the four units was delivered to the Barbours Cut facility in the same year.

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“The purchase of the new equipment forms part of a wider $700m modernisation programme that is currently taking place at the Barbours Cut facility.”

Port Houston executive director Roger Guenther said: “Considerable improvements are being made by Port Houston as we strategically prepare for expected growth.

“These cranes are a good example of how we continue to focus on our infrastructure.”

Port Houston is expecting to witness additional growth as a result of the expansion of its petrochemical facilities along the Houston Ship Channel, among other reasons.

The expansions are also anticipated to lead to an increase in plastic resins, which are a by-product of petrochemical processes.

Many of these resins will be exported as containerised cargo across Port Houston’s docks.

Additionally, retail imports at the port are growing significantly, and the port’s container volume was increased by a total of 14% during the first half of this year.