PORT of Newcastle is investing $28.4 million in two new mobile harbour cranes and associated infrastructure at the Mayfield 4 berth.

The port said the two Liebherr L550 cranes would enhance its existing project cargo, general cargo and container-handling ability at the berth when they arrive mid-next year.

Port of Newcastle executive manager trade and business development Paul Brown said the cranes would increase efficiency at the port and provide an alternative for those moving oversized equipment and containerised cargoes through the east coast capital city ports.

“This investment will enable both existing and new customers to utilise the port’s infrastructure to move their oversized equipment and containerised cargo even more efficiently through Newcastle than they currently can,” he said.

“Port of Newcastle is excited about this upgrade to our Mayfield 4 berth service offering.”

The new cranes will be able work in tandem. They will handle a diverse mix of project cargo, including wind turbines, mining equipment, timber, steel coils and transformers.

Each of the cranes will also be able to lift two 20-foot containers or one 40-foot container in a single move.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the investment in mobile harbour cranes was part of the port’s long-term diversification plans.

“As the Hunter’s trade gateway to the world, the mobile harbour crane investment will enable the port to leverage the full use of our abundant channel, rail, road and land capacity to accommodate existing and new trade and ensure the Port of Newcastle is best placed to meet the demands of customers into the future,” he said.

“Naturally, we would also like to be announcing the next stage in our game changing $2.4-billion Multi-purpose Deepwater Terminal project. Although we are not presently in that position, Port of Newcastle’s goals are unwavering.

“We are firmly focused on seizing opportunities that will create a broad mix of trade opportunities which help to support our local industry, boost jobs in addition to the 9000 positions the Port directly and indirectly supports now, and build a prosperous local, state and national economy.”