Thames Gateway cranes from Shanghai arrive in Essex

The Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company-built cranes The Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company-built cranes are believed to be the UK's largest

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A set of giant cranes, believed to be the largest ever installed in the UK, has arrived at a new port in Essex.

At 453ft (138m) tall - twice the height of Nelson's column - the cranes arrived at the Thames Gateway port from China.

The port is being built by the Dubai-owned company DP World at a cost of £1.5bn ($2.35bn), on the site of a former oil refinery in Essex.

The cranes are the first in the UK able to lift four containers at once, said the company.

A spokesman added their design means "the world's largest ships will be unloaded more efficiently in future."

'World class'

Made by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC), each crane stands taller than either the London Eye or the arch of the new Wembley Stadium.

They arrived at the Essex port after a two-month voyage from China. A further 21 cranes are planned for the dock in the future.

Simon Moore, chief executive at DP World London Gateway, said: "A world-class deep-sea container port requires a world-class set of cranes.

"They will be the lynchpin of the operation - the biggest, most modern and most efficient the UK has ever seen."

The new port will open later this year.

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