Malta Freeport Terminals showcased a huge €31 million investment in new equipment and infrastructural works, including 15 newly-acquired Kone Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) – that stand over 27 metres high and will be fully operational in March – as well as other yard equipment including 67 new tractors and trailers that have all been ordered over the past 12 months.
The new cranes, which complement another 50 already in use at the Freeport, were acquired from world-leading manufacturers KCI Kone Cranes. As well as being faster than conventional RTGs, they are also safer to operate – featuring an anti-collision system – and more energy efficient.
They are also fitted with safety alarms that are considerably quieter than the beeper alarms currently in use on older cranes and the Freeport is planning to install this new technology throughout its fleet of RTGs, which will have significant benefits for Birzebbuga residents.
Malta Freeport Terminals CEO Alex Montebello said: “This investment comes at a time when the Terminals are operating at elevated capacity in a difficult and highly competitive environment."
“Despite these challenges, the Freeport once again broke records again in terms of throughput in 2018, handling 3.31 million TEU containers. This is also thanks to the dedication of our committed personnel – without whom the results we’ve registered would not have been possible."
“Since we are already operating at high capacity, the next step is to ensure our terminals are able to accommodate four million containers. We are seeking to achieve this objective in a number of ways, including extending the Terminal Two North Quay which is currently at tendering stage."
“We strongly believe that investment is a catalyst for growth and is necessary to ensure we are able to meet the ever-growing challenges and maintain our position as a major transshipment hub.”
The Freeport currently handles 20 weekly mainline services, providing network links to 130 ports around the world, and received more than 2,200 vessels over the past 12 months.