Finnish company Konecranes has finalised a $217m deal with the US Port of Virginia to build and deliver 86 rail-mounted automated stacking cranes (ASCs).

Of the 86 specialised cranes, 60 will be installed at the port’s Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), while the remaining 26 will be installed at Virginia International Gateway (VIG).

Delivery of the cranes is scheduled to begin by 2018, with plans to complete by 2020 in a phased manner.

"The work on making The Port of Virginia the US East Coast’s leading gateway for world trade is truly underway."

Once delivered, the cranes will help expand NIT’s container handling capacity by 400,000 units, and VIG’s capacity by 600,000 units by the year 2020.

The combined cost of the expansion projects is estimated to be $670m.

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By GlobalData

Virginia governor Terry R McAuliffe said: “The work on making The Port of Virginia the US East Coast’s leading gateway for world trade is truly underway.

“We secured the financing for these projects this summer, the planning and preliminary site-work has started and now we have an agreement in place with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialised cranes to supply the hardware to move containers safely and efficiently across our two primary container terminals.”

“Once the construction is done and these cranes are in place and operational, our port will have the capacity to process an additional one million containers annually, have the channel depth to handle the biggest ships in the Atlantic trade and double-stack rail service offered by Norfolk Southern and CSX to some of the nation’s most important markets.”

Konecranes will manufacture major components at its facility in Finland and will transport them to the Port of Virginia for final assembly.

Image: Port of Virginia's Norfolk International Terminal (NIT). Photo: courtesy of Missy Schmidt from Hampton Roads, Virginia.