02/11/2015 Liebherr mobile harbour crane quartet for Katoen Natie

  • Inauguration of two LHM 600s in Antwerp, Belgium
  • Record lifting capacity of 416 tonnes in tandem operation
  • Additional LHM 550 for Antwerp
  • LHM 420 for terminal in Radicatel, France

Katoen Natie N.V. sets a new benchmark in terms of lifting capacity at the port of Antwerp, investing in three new Liebherr mobile harbour cranes, two LHM 600s and one LHM 550 . Additionally, the company enforced its operations in Radicatel, France, with a new LHM 420.

Two LHM 600s demonstrate their capabilities in Antwerp.

Two LHM 600s demonstrate their capabilities in Antwerp.

In January 2015, both family-owned companies Katoen Natie und Liebherr celebrated the handover of two Liebherr mobile harbour cranes LHM 600 in a festive ceremony on Antwerp’s Left Bank. Ordered twice by Katoen Natie in 2014, the LHM 600 model is the strongest mobile harbour crane available in the market and provides a maximum lifting capacity of 208 tonnes and an outreach of up to 58 metres.

The first LHM 600 was delivered fully assembled in November 2014. The second crane became operational just one month later. Due to this investment in two LHM 600s, Katoen Natie can offer high-capacity tandem lifts to its customers. In this regard, innovative technology from Liebherr plays a major role. Thanks to the installation of Sycratronic®, one crane operator can safely handle heavy loads of up to 416 tonnes in tandem operation.

Manufactured by Liebherr Maritime Cranes in Rostock, these cranes will increase Katoen Natie’s competitiveness in break bulk cargo, including steel and forest products. This significant investment also demonstrates Katoen Natie’s confidence in their operations in Antwerp. It also shows their strong focus on the expansion of the market share for heavy lift and project cargoes, which are large, non-standard pieces like wind turbines.

“Thanks to our two new LHM 600s we have expanded our portfolio and are now capable of lifting loads as heavy as 416 tonnes, which is unique in Belgium. We are very optimistic that these state-of-the-art giants in combination with our long-term experience in safe and efficient cargo handling will attract new customers. Our existing customers will also highly benefit from this significant investment as we have speeded up our vessel turnaround times,” said Joos Melis, Commercial Director of Katoen Natie.

In addition to both LHM 600s, Katoen Natie has invested in an LHM 550, which started operation in summer 2014. The LHM 550 is the most-in-demand Liebherr mobile harbour crane model and has proven its capabilities across the globe. Katoen Natie’s new machine is equipped with the unique Pactronic® hybrid power booster. This cutting-edge hydraulic hybrid drive for cranes allows for a plus of 30% regarding turnover capacity. At the same time, Pactronic® leads to a reduction of fuel/energy consumption (litre/ton) as well as CO2 and exhaust emissions in the range of 30% depending on the operation. The tasks of this new LHM 550 in Antwerp include highly efficient container and bulk handling.

Antwerp major market for mobile cargo handling solution

Antwerp has been an important market for Liebherr mobile harbour cranes for more than 20 years. In 1990, the first unit was delivered to Westerlund Corporation in Antwerp. Over the years, the population of Liebherr mobile harbour cranes has substantially grown in the Belgian port. In 2009, Liebherr Maritime Cranes proudly opened a new office in Antwerp. Today there are eight service engineers based in Antwerp, to ensure quick response times and excellent service. Due to a notable market growth in recent years, Liebherr is optimistic that the demand for state-of-the-art mobile harbour cranes will further increase in Antwerp.

New LHM 420 for terminal in Radicatel

In addition to their major investment in Belgium, Katoen Natie has opted for another Liebherr mobile harbour crane, type LHM 420, for their facilities in Radicatel at the northern coast of France. Delivered in 2014, the new all-purpose crane will be used for general cargo operation, container and bulk handling. The LHM 420 is Liebherr’s latest model, providing an outreach of 48 metres and a maximum lifting capacity of 124 tonnes. Katoen Natie’s very positive experience with an existing LHM 250 in Radicatel was a main reason why the logistics company opted for another LHM. This LHM 420 delivery underlines the positive trend of demand for Liebherr mobile harbour cranes in France.