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Aarhus Stevedore Kompagni (ASK) has ordered 19 Kalmar ESC EDRIVE 350 straddle carriers for operation at its new container terminal currently under construction as part of the Port of Aarhus’ 25-year expansion plan. The 7th generation straddle carriers will be equipped with the latest in handling technology, including Kalmar Smartpath container position verification system and Remote Monitoring Interface (RMI). The machines will also be ready for automation, with inbuilt provisions for sensors, should ASK decide to upgrade to an automated system in the future. Delivery of the new straddle carriers will be completed spring 2007.

The Port of Aarhus’ expansion strategy has been developed to accommodate an annual growth of 10 to 15 percent in container throughput. At present, ASK handles about two-thirds of the port 500,000 TEU container throughput utilising 17 Kalmar reachstackers at its old terminal. However, in spring 2007 it will begin operations from a new 33-hectare terminal when it will also switch to a straddle carrier system to support a further three post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes operating on the new 800-metre quayside.

The new ESCs will be equipped with Kalmar Smartpath container position verification system, which receives information directly from the yard management system allowing for accurate picking and placing of containers, thus contributing to faster operations and overall productivity gains.

RMI allows for remote monitoring from either the terminal operating room or via the internet and gives the customer instant access to Kalmar specialists in the event of any problems. The result is more efficient fleet management and greater uptime, with a direct improvement on the customer bottom line.

The ASK straddle carriers will be capable of stacking containers three high and will incorporate AC drives to meet the strictest environmental standards. The flexibility and manoeuvrability offered by straddle carriers, as well as their 50-tonne capacity twin-lift spreaders and Kalmar enhanced EDRIVE ESC Smoothlift hoist system, will result in considerably improved quayside operations.

ASK is an important and longstanding Kalmar customer. The company, which also operates a roro terminal with 14 Kalmar terminal tractors and container movers, was the first customer to adopt the reachstacker concept more than 30 years ago.

The expansion of the Port of Aarhus, which began in 1998, will be staggered over 25 years. When the expansion is complete, the port area will cover 360 hectares, double its present size, and annual cargo-handling capacity will increase to approximately 20 million tonnes. The projected maximum water depth will be 15 metres alongside, compared to 14 metres at the existing facility.

The expansion plan will also see an increase in ASK container storage capacity, which currently stands at 10,000 TEU. A new rail terminal will also be brought into operation, and it is anticipated that a few reachstackers in the existing ASK fleet will be used for rail operations. The site formerly used for container handling will be developed for commercial office and residential use.

The total cost of ASK expansion plans is estimated to exceed 250 million Danish kroner.

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"Aarhus Stevedore Kompagni has ordered 19 Kalmar ESC straddle carriers, which will be delivered ready for future automation and will incorporate Kalmar's Smartpath container position verification system and Remote Monitoring Interface."

Kalmar is a global provider of container and heavy duty materials handling equipment, automation applications and related services. It is the world's leading supplier of cargo handling equipment to ports, terminals and intermodal facilities.

Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine. The company also supplies a wide range of machines to demanding industrial customers for applications as diverse as handling steel and paper to shunting road trailers at distribution hubs.

Kalmar is also leading the way in port automation applications with its application of unmanned container handling technology, on-board smart features and remote maintenance products developed in co-operation with customers and partners.

Kalmar's product range is complemented by a large range of value added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Production plants are situated in Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Malaysia, China and the USA. Kalmar net sales were EUR 1,147 million in 2005.

Kalmar is part of Cargotec Corporation, the world leading provider of cargo handling solutions, which are used in local transportation, terminals, ports, distribution centres, and ships. In 2005 Cargotec net sales exceeded EUR 2.3 billion. Cargotec class B shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

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