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Port Réunion recruits Kalmar expertise for Port Est development

Port de l’Ile de la Réunion, the Indian Ocean busiest container port, is utilising the port planning and container handling expertise of Kalmar Industries as it begins work on extensive new facilities at Port Est. The port will take into operation 12 four-high CSC450 straddle carriers with twin-lift spreaders and two TRX182 terminal tractors, each with a three-unit multi-trailer system.

The port has used Kalmar Terminal Development services extensively to assist in its planning process. These services included estimation of the required fleet size and identification of optimal layouts, as well as other assistance associated with the conversion to straddle carrier operations. Kalmar Port Optimizer, a new simulation tool, has also been used in the process.

At present, the French Port of La Réunion handles some 180,000TEU per year and is reporting annual growth rates of up to 5%. The container terminal is situated on Port Est, which was inaugurated in 1986, and currently operates in the container yard 12 Kalmar reachstackers and a range of Kalmar empty container handling trucks, terminal tractors and fork lift trucks. Kalmar strong presence here has been realised thanks to a 15-year collaboration with its dealer DMP, which has over the years strengthened the image of Kalmar in Reunion Island.

The Est Port extension, which is scheduled for completion at the end of 2006 after two-and-a-half years’ work, will also include the construction of a new 650m-long berth, as well as the widening of the approach channel from 130m to 160m and dredging to increase the draft from 12m to 16m, allowing it to handle even the latest generation container vessels.

Kalmar input into the Est Port extension project will see dramatic productivity increases in Port Réunion container handling operations. By switching from reachstackers – which require wider aisles and more space to manoeuvre – to a straddle carrier system, the port expects to realise a 50% increase in its container storage capacity, which currently stands at 10,000TEU. The greater flexibility offered by the CSC450s will also mean improved gate delivery times for drivers. Moreover, the better manoeuvrability of the straddle carriers combined with the fact they are equipped with 50-ton capacity twin-lift spreaders, will result in considerably improved quayside operations.

Explains Ilkka Annala, Vice President, Kalmar Straddle Carriers:

"Kalmar CSC ranks as the market leader straddle carrier, offering robust construction and reliability. The twinlift spreader on the models we will supply to Port Réunion will allow the machines to mirror the handling efficiency of the terminal ship-to-shore cranes, thus reducing waiting times on the quayside and increasing overall productivity.

"Port Réunion needs to upgrade its handling systems and there is no doubt that a straddle carrier system is the best solution for its future."

Michel Antonelli, President of Sermat (a technical joint venture between Port Reunion operators SAMR, SOMACOM and SGM), explains:

"We have operated a variety of Kalmar machines for many years now and their track record in being responsive to our after-sales needs has been excellent. As such, we now see Kalmar as a partner rather than an equipment supplier and are happy to extend our co-operation with them."

Jean de la Perriere, President of Reunion Island Stevedoring Association, explains that there is good reason for significant investment in facilities and productivity:

"Port Réunion is located at the heart of the Indian Ocean islands and handles about 70% of the containerised goods coming from Europe. We are also ideally placed on the Asia-South Africa route, making us a key transhipment centre in the south-west Indian Ocean. Because of our prime location, we anticipate not only growth in the volume of containers passing through our facilities, but also in the size of ship calling at our terminal. Therefore, it is imperative that we do everything we can to provide these ships with efficient equipment, fast turnaround times and excellent dock availability.

Notes to editors:

Press information can be found on Kalmar website Simply click on News Room to be taken to a list of recent press releases or on Press Pictures to be taken to the Kalmar photo gallery.

The caption for the photographs read:

''Port Réunion, pictured, is utilising Kalmar's machinery and port planning expertise in the development of its extensive new container handling facilities at the Port Est terminal."

Kalmar is a global provider of heavy duty materials handling equipment and services to ports, intermodal traffic, terminals and demanding industrial customers. Kalmar focuses on supplying handling solutions that enable customers to operate with a high level of efficiency and reliability. Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine.

Kalmar provides a large range of value added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Manufacturing plants are situated in Sweden (as is the head office), in Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Malaysia, China and the USA.

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