The Port of Virginia marks a new milestone in the $375 million expansion project at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).
The six rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs) arrived Monday, on board the heavy-load vessel Happy Buccaneer. Over the next 18 months, a total of 60 new cranes will be delivered to NIT. This first group of RMGs will be off-loaded, mounted on rails, and some minor assembly will be done before the cranes are tested and put into service by the end of September.
At that point, the first three of 30 new container stacks at NIT will be ready for use.
“This is the stage when things begin to come to life at NIT,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Our goal is to put this equipment to work as quickly and as safely as we can.”
Reinhart says with new capacity and efficiency come economic investment and job creation across Virginia. The entire capacity expansion project will add 400,000 container units, and is expected to be finished by the middle of 2020.
A similar, $320 million expansion project is also underway at the Port of Virginia’s Virginia International Gateway (VIG). In June, that terminal got the last of its 26 new rail-mounted gantry cranes. The 86 total RMGs that the port ordered for its two terminals represents the largest RMG order in any port’s history.
“We’re building a safe, modern port capable of handling the biggest ships in the Atlantic trade,” said Reinhart.
-Meg Walburn Viviano