Port of Virginia has received the first set of six rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs) at its Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).

The RMGs were delivered as part of a $217m contract awarded by Port of Virginia to Konecranes in November 2016 to build 86 RMGs.

They are equipped with technology systems provided by US-based TMEIC.

Part of an ongoing $375m capacity expansion project at NIT, the RMGs will undergo minor assembly and testing before being put into commercial service by the end of September.

As part of the expansion, which began in January and is scheduled to be completed by 2020, NIT will receive 60 new cranes within an 18-month cycle period.

The newly received RMGs are set to make their debut by handling the first three of 30 new container stacks at NIT.

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“As these stacks go on-line, we will begin capitalising on the new capacity and efficiency we’re creating.”

Virginia Port Authority CEO and executive director John Reinhart said: “This is the stage when things begin to come to life at NIT.

“Our goal is to put this equipment to work as quickly and as safely as we can, just like we are doing at Virginia International Gateway (VIG).

“As these stacks go on-line, we will begin capitalising on the new capacity and efficiency we’re creating.

“The end result of our effort will be new high-performing network of terminals that will attract economic investment in Virginia and spur job creation across the Commonwealth.”

The port is also expected to build a safe, modern port capable of handling the biggest ships in the Atlantic trade once the expansion at NIT is completed.

Last month, Port of Virginia received the last 26 RMGs at the VIG facility, where $320m is being invested to expand cargo capacity and operations.