#SHIPPING CRANES – In what is believed to be the largest ship ever to dock in Fenit, Co. Kerry, the heavylift ship HHL Valparasio (2010/17,634grt) departed this afternoon with two ship-to-shore container cranes bound for the USA, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Liberian flagged heavylift ship is transporting the cranes to Elizabeth Port, in New Jersey and were manufactured by Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd based in Fossa, outside Killarney.
The Swiss family owned business has been operating with its Irish base since 1958 and has a workforce of 560 employees. The manufacturing facility is part of a global group with more than 35,000 employees in more than 130 companies, in which the company was established in 1949 by founder Hans Liebherr.
As HHL Valparaso departed Fenit pier, two tugs assisted the 168m long vessel which had previously made her outward bound trans-Atlantic voyage from Norfolk, Virginia. On board was cargo of grain which was unloaded in Dublin Port earlier this month.
The two-year old vessel (P2 class) is owned by German operator Hansa Heavy Lift GmBH based in Hamburg and she was built by the Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group in Shanghai, China. The vessel belongs to a fleet of 21 multipurpose heavy-lift freighters engaged in the heavy-lift and project market.
The ships' on board cranes have harnesses of a combined lift capacity of 1,400 tons and facilitate the loading and discharging of cargoes around the world – independent of the local infrastructure.
With today's crane cargo which forms the only major business running out of Fenit, which has operated as a commercial port since 1887, the Co. Kerry harbour has had 12 such shipments in 2012. According to Liebherr a further seven such exporting cargo-calls are scheduled for the rest of this year.