Chinese Company Supplies Cranes for Long Beach, Calif., Port

Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA via NewsEdge Corporation : Jan. 10--In a somber and traditional ceremony in China, officials of the Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. formally signed a $143 million contract to supply 20 large dockside cranes for the Port of Long Beach's Pier T terminal. The port's Boa...

01/11/2001


Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA via NewsEdge Corporation : Jan. 10--In a somber and traditional ceremony in China, officials of the Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. formally signed a $143 million contract to supply 20 large dockside cranes for the Port of Long Beach's Pier T terminal.

The port's Board of Harbor Commissioners unanimously awarded the contract to ZPMC in late October after the Shanghai-based company underbid both Germany-based Noell Crane Systems Gmbh. and South Korea-based Samsung Heavy Industries.

The Chinese firm is hopeful, port officials said, that the contract will lead to more American contracts. The deal with Long Beach, inked on Saturday, is the largest order the firm has ever executed at one time.

"This is definitely a proving ground for ZPMC," said Pier T Project Manager Arie Steinberg. Pier T, when completed in 2004, will be a 375-acre cargo container terminal located on the site of the former U.S. Navy Station and Shipyard.

In October, Hanjin Shipping Co. signed a $1 billion, 25-year agreement with the port to lease the terminal.

The terms of the deal call for 12 cranes to be delivered initially, with eight being held as options that the port can utilize in mid-April 2002.

The $7 million cranes will continue a design phase lasting through March or April. The first fabrication of the Long Beach pieces will begin at ZPMC by April or May with final assembly beginning in June, port officials said.

Two cranes will be delivered on Feb. 20, 2002, with the remaining 10 delivered before July 16.

The cranes can lift loads of more than 70 tons up to 120 feet off the ground.

A delegation of port officials attended the ceremony in the newly built Shanghai Cultural Center. The center, which is much like a Western-style convention center, is usually reserved for state functions or performances by prominent foreign artists.

In attendance were port officials including Harbor Commission President John Kashiwabara, port Executive Director Richard Steinke, Chief Harbor Engineer Doug Thiessen and Steinberg, who took part alongside their counterparts at ZPMC.

Kashiwabara said that the ceremony was very serious and was probably done more for the crane builders than for the port.

"This is a very crucial contract for them," said Kashiwabara, "and the ceremony was more like the signing of a historic document."

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(c) 2001, Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.





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