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Thamesport Upgrades Quayside Cranes
9th December 2004

Thamesport is set to further enhance operations early next year when it embarks upon an ambitious modification programme to five of its quayside cranes. The five post-Panamax cranes, which are now 15 years old, will be upgraded to enable them to handle the latest generation of ultra-large container ships now calling at this deep-water facility.

The maximum hoist height will be increased by three metres and the outreach extended by 2.5 metres to make it possible for the cranes to handle ships that have containers stacked seven high on deck, and 17 rows across. The operation will commence in mid-January, and will take six months to complete, at a cost of £2.4 million.

As part of a more extensive crane overhaul, two of the five cranes have been fully repainted, and all are in the process of having new drivers’ cabs fitted. The drivers’ cabs are a modern “ErgoCab” design from Dutch manufacturer, Merford, and are equipped with all the latest technology for maximum driver comfort and visibility.

David Gledhill, Chief Operating Officer of Thamesport, commented:

“This is a major step forward for Thamesport. It is important that the Port is able to provide its customers with the very best equipment and infrastructure, and this crane modification programme will mean that the Port will be even better placed to serve their needs.”

He added:

“Thamesport is now attracting some of the largest vessels in operation today, such as the 6,332-TEU Hatsu Envoy, employed on Evergreen’s Far East – Europe CEM service, and this programme will help to secure the Port’s competitiveness well into the future.”

Thamesport has made considerable investments in equipment and infrastructure over the past 18 months. The Port’s storage capacity was significantly boosted last August with the commissioning of the North Park, which provided an additional 3,270 TEU of empty storage capacity. Complemented by six new Kalmar empty-handlers, the improvements to the North Park have greatly increased overall Port productivity.

The Port placed an order for 11 new terminal tractors with manufacturer Terberg DTS at the beginning of March 2004. The new machines arrived in May and September, and have significantly reduced turnaround times to and from the yard and quay. A further order has recently been placed with Terberg DTS for another eight tractors, which should arrive at the Port in March 2005.

ENDS

Note to Editors:

For further information or a PHOTOGRAPH, please contact Rachael Jackson, Corporate Affairs Officer, on Tel No: +44 (0)1394 604167 or Fax No: +44 (0)1394 604943, or E-mail jacksonr@hpuk.co.uk

Thamesport (TMP) is located in the heart of South East England, 10 miles from the M2 motorway, 35 miles from London. It is one of the UK’s busiest container ports.

TMP is a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL). HPH is the world's leading port investor, developer and operator with interests in 17 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Today, HPH operates a total of 206 berths in 35 ports, together with a number of transportation-related service companies. With industry-recognised core competence in the effective and efficient management and operation of ports, the HPH Group handled 41.5 million TEU in 2003.
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