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August 6, 2018

4 old cranes are too small for today's big ships; port will pay $4M to remove

Photo by Don Wilson/Port of Seattle [enlarge]
The Terminal 46 crane shown here on the left is being removed to make space for operations.

The Port of Seattle will pay a contractor up to $4 million to remove four old container cranes on terminals 18 and 46.

The 34-year-old Japanese cranes have been out of service for a few years and don't fit today's larger cargo ships.

A port spokeswoman said they are unlikely to be reused as container cranes in the Pacific Northwest due to their small size. She said they would likely be cut up and scrapped by the winning bidder or salvaged in some other way.

A port memo from May said several attempts were made in the past to sell or dispose of the cranes, but no deals worked out. Even though the cranes have a lot of steel, the memo said that the cost of dismantling and transporting the components to a recycling plant would exceed any revenue gained.

Three of the cranes, on Terminal 18, were modified in the 1990s so they could be used on larger vessels, but cargo ships kept getting bigger so the port had to buy new and bigger cranes.

The port is required to remove the idle cranes on Terminal 18 to satisfy lease obligations. The crane on Terminal 46 is shown here in the photo to the left of two newer and larger cranes. It is being removed to make space for operations.

About $10 million from the Northwest Seaport Alliance's capital investment plan will be used to fund this project and the future removal of six more cranes at Terminal 5 in Seattle.

Northwest Seaport Alliance is a partnership of the Seattle and Tacoma ports.

Bids are due Aug. 10.

For more information, see the notice in the July 30 DJC.