More Container Cranes ordered for one of Africa’s newest deepwater container ports, in Berbera, Somaliland

IRELAND – SOMALILAND – When Dubai based ports and logistics group DP World had its Doraleh container terminal illegally seized by the Djibouti government in February 2018, it promptly took action to retain its cargo handling influence in the region by declaring that same year to build a new port at Berbera on the coast of neighboring Somaliland.


To date, the Djiboutians have ignored all the penalties imposed by a succession of court cases instructing them to pay compensation and therefore the matter continues. With Chinese influence now seemingly controlling the Doraleh facilities DP World has been pressing on with the construction of the deepwater berths at Berbera and has now ordered more of the quayside hardware the operation will require as cargo throughput grows.

Liebherr Container Cranes and DP World Berbera have signed a contract for the supply of eight rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) for the new terminal which are scheduled to be ready for operation before the end of this year. The high performance, variable speed diesel RTGs are six containers plus a truck lane wide and will stack one over five containers high.

The machines, supplied from the Austrian group’s container crane facility in Killarney will be supplied with DGPS autosteering and stack profiling. Like all Liebherr RTGs, the machines incorporate Liebherr’s unique eight rope reeving no-sway-system, Liebherr drive systems, and simultaneous drive motion. Gantry cameras, as well as a laser anti-collision system, bring safety enhancements to operations.

The Liebherr machines have been designed using high-quality European components, specified for maximum loading conditions, significantly enhancing component life. Remote maintenance and Liebherr’s custom diagnostics and maintenance software, DiaMon3D, further enhance the RTGs appeal and help deliver exceptionally low maintenance costs. The variable speed diesel engine helps reduce running costs and will significantly reduce emissions.

The port already operates three Liebherr LHM 420 mobile harbor cranes, which went into service in early 2019. The new cranes are part of a phased expansion of the port, with phase one including a new 400-meter quay and a 250,000 m2 yard extension.

The Berbera facilities are ideally situated to take on work which otherwise might pass through near neighboring countries such as Djibouti and Eritrea with good access to Ethiopia and others in the hinterland. However, the country is not internationally recognized being still officially part of Somalia itself. Despite ongoing religious and political upheavals swirling around it Somaliland appears however to remain a relatively untroubled and stable state.

Photo: A Liebherr RTG operating at DP World Sokhna.

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