The Port of New Orleans received two new container gantry cranes which will be installed at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.

The cranes completed their 53-day, 15,700-mile journey from South Korea just before noon aboard the M/V Tai An Kou. Korea Logistics Co. Ltd. was in charge of shipping the massive structures.

“This vital investment in our container operations will position the Port of New Orleans as one of the most productive and efficient container ports in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic region,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange.

The new cranes have a 65-long-ton lift capacity, 110-foot lift height and a 167-foot outreach, making the cranes the largest in the Port’s history. The cranes have the ability to reach containers stacked 18 columns across the width of a ship. The current cranes’ capacity is 15 containers wide.

“These cranes will be faster and more efficient and allow the Port to work larger ships and produce quicker turnaround times for our customers,” LaGrange said.

“Our investment in these cranes will give the Port of New Orleans an edge in a highly competitive environment,” said John Fay, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port.

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., based in Seoul, South Korea, built the state-of-the-art cranes at a cost of $26.5 million. Total cost of the project, including installation, is $29.5 million, of which $24.6 million was provided by the Louisiana Legislature during its 2008 Extraordinary Session. The Port provided the remainder of the cost from its capital budget.

The crane project will fuel recent surges in container volumes at the Port of New Orleans, LaGrange said. In 2010, the Port moved 427,518 twenty-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs, which is the standard unit measure within a container terminal. And 2011 figures indicate the Port will surpass 2010’s figures.

Construction is ongoing to expand the terminal’s 594,000-TEU capacity. The $7.1 million Napoleon Ave. Stage “C” expansion will add acreage to the marshalling yard and create additional efficiencies in container handling when complete this fall. The new gantry cranes bring the Port’s investment into Phase 2 of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to about $100 million of the $250 million project.