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World’s first battery-powered harbor crane to be launched in Skellefteå

Photo: Konecranes

At the beginning of 2022, a new harbor crane will be established in Skelleftehamn. The crane, which will not be track-bound and able to move freely, will be electrical and powered by batteries - a solution that is unique to the port.

– Our goal is to become a completely emissions-free port, says port manager Lars Widelund.

The new harbor crane is larger and stronger than the old crane that has been in the harbor since 2002. It lifts 125 tonnes, compared with the old one which has a lifting capacity of 100 tonnes.

– Now we have a longer range and it is much faster than the old one. The extra speed is more noticeable than the additional lifting capacity, says Lars Widelund.

The port of Skellefteå will be the first in the world with an electric crane that is powered by a battery pack and can freely move.

Most electric cranes that are track-bound and can only move parallel to the quays. Our new crane will be easier to move between quays and storage areas using the battery solution.

In addition to the fact that the electric battery-powered crane is attractive from an environmental point of view, it is also significantly cheaper to operate than a diesel-powered crane, according to Widelund.

– The price will be lower and the electric crane is much more efficient. We will choose electric cranes when we replace the cranes in the future as well.

Lars Widelund

The current crane in Skelleftehamn is old and often suffers operational disruptions that create additional costs but it will still be useful, says Widelund.

– We will keep the old crane. If you only have one crane that can lift containers, wind power or environmental metals, you are vulnerable. So it's both a matter of capacity and redundancy.

Northvolt bringing in 700,000 tons of goods per year

Another reason that a second harbor crane is now needed is the Northvolt battery factory. The company’s incoming goods, for both the construction of the plant and the production phase once the factory is finished, will go through the port.

The harbor crane will also be vital for other container traffic. The crane will come in handy to meet the extra expected lifting capacity for containers, dry bulk and bulky goods, such as wind power components. The amount of goods transported through the port will increase sharply.

– Northvolt comes with approximately 700,000 tons of goods per year. There is still uncertainty about when volumes will come and how much. Today, the port handles approximately 400,000 tonnes - in comparison, Rönnskär handles approximately 1.3 million tonnes. The big difference is that most things will come and go in containers or similar, says Lars Widelund.

It is Skellefteå municipality that has bought the crane for a sum of SEK 40 million. The crane will be delivered in parts during November and then tested. It is from the Gottwald range, owned by Konecranes.

– We expect that the crane will be in operation by January 2022 at the latest, says Widelund


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