Port Waratah Coal Services planning Terminal 4 project

Last year proved another strong year for Newcastle coal exports, with Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) reporting over 105mt (million tonnes) throughput in 2012, 8.3% higher than 2011.

The majority of coal exports from PWCS were bound for China and Japan, with smaller markets such as Mexico, Malaysia and New Caledonia also receiving Hunter Valley coal.

With the expansion project at the Kooragang Island terminal nearing completion, PWCS will be on the way to delivering nameplate capacity of 145mt through Kooragang and the nearby Carrington terminal.

Port Waratah is also working to meet the future needs of Hunter Valley Coal Chain with planning progressing for the proposed Terminal 4 (T4) Project.

The initial stages of the proposed T4 development have the capacity to handle up to 70mt of coal per year. These stages are within a master plan which allows the handling of a potential 120mt a year, subject to further development approval.

This staged approach follows the approach taken at the successful development of the existing PWCS terminal at Kooragang, said chief executive officer Hennie du Plooy. “Targeting a smaller approval supports delivering this capacity at the lowest possible cost for an industry that is adjusting to a changing economic environment,” said du Plooy, adding, “However, where it makes sense to provide for the whole of the master plan — for example in acknowledging and mitigating environmental and social impacts — we will continue to do so.”

PWCS is currently undertaking a feasibility study for T4 while the government approvals process continues. The T4 Project requires approval from the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure and Federal Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act).

The initial stage of T4 is estimated to cost approximately $5 billion and deliver up to 1,500 construction jobs.


MTMG plans for storage and quay upgrades


Maritime Bulk Terminal Gdynia Ltd (MTMG – Morski Terminal Masowy Gdynia Sp. z o.o.) was created in 1995 during the process of the restructuring of the Port of Gdynia Authority SA.

On 1 September 2011 MTMG became a part of the ATIC Services Group, which covers the entire logistics chain associated with the coal activity, bulk logistics as well as iron and steel products. Ever since it was created, ATIC Services has operated as an international company with tight connections to each of the 11 countries where it is present.

Maritime Bulk Terminal Gdynia Ltd is located at the main entrance to the Port of Gdynia and is directly connected to the railway and road networks. 

Within the structure of the Port of Gdynia, MTMG as a universal terminal offers the services of reloading, warehousing, big-bagging and sorting of bulk cargoes in the port and maritime environment.

The terminal works 24 hours a day and offers the handling of: coal, coke, grain and feedstuff, biomasses, ores and other bulk dry and liquid cargoes (including chemicals of the 3rd, 6th, 8th and 9th classes according to the IMDG Code), crude oil and its derivatives as well as general cargo.

Maritime Bulk Terminal Gdynia Ltd obtained ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 22000:2005 HACCP certificates granted by Polish Chamber of Foreign Trade Certification and Bureau Veritas Certification.



The Terminal also renders operating and technical services for the Liquid Fuels Reloading Post on the breakwater.This post serves the tankers with lengths up to 210m (minimum vessel length — 100m) and a draught of up to 11m.


MTMG assets are:


  • quays with total length of 1,657m;
  • storage yards with area of 70,866m2;
  • 3 flat warehouses with total area of 15,823m2;
  • four-chamber warehouse with capacity of 20,000m3;
  • 15 grab-hook cranes with lifting capacities of 8, 10, 16, 25 & 40t;
  • 1 self-propelled grab hook-crane Liebherr 550 with lifting capacity of 124t;
  • 2 self-propelled grab-hook cranes with lifting capacity of 24t;
  • specialized post for handling liquid chemicals;
  • stationary pneumatic-mechanical conveyor;
  • covered device for grain reloading with container scale;
  • covered belt conveyor for loading dry bulk goods into trucks and wagons;
  • 3 truck scales; v 2 railway wagon scales; v hoppers, wheel loaders, caterpillar bulldozers, tractors, platform and box trailers, fork trucks and other auxiliary equipment;
  • external parking for 122 trucks; and
  • TV monitoring system.


MTMG is continuously improving the quality of its services by paying great attention to the handling process. Being a universal terminal with a diversification of products, MTMG is investing in new equipment that ensures a good service of various types of cargo which require new technologies and compliance with environmental standards.

What is definitely worth mentioning among new investments planned for 2013 and 2014 is the construction of a new automated, four-chamber warehouse, with a total capacity of 60,000 tonnes, located on Silesian Quay and destined for storage of agricultural products.

At the same time MTMG will modernize the Swedish Quay involving its deepening up to 13.5m and in the long term up to 15.5. Nevertheless it is already able to accommodate vessels up to Capesize.

Port of Gdansk — an emerging candidate for dry bulk hub in the Baltic Sea? 

Ever since coal throughput started in the deepwater section of the Port of Gdansk back at the beginning of the 1970s, coal has been priority cargo, breaking turnover records in the port. At the time of prosperity, the terminal’s capacity of handling over 8mt (million tonnes) of coal annually

was nearly used to the full. The economic and political crisis

of the 1980s translated into the world markets’ interest in Polish coal dwindling year by year. The plummeting coal turnover in the Port of Gdansk was accompanied by shutting down increasingly unprofitable mines. In the first years of this century the port exported 5–6mt of coal, only to report a regular decrease of exports (down to 1.5mt) from the beginning of 2006 until today, with simultaneous imports boom. The public power system, 95% of which is supplied with coal, required the increase of imports. Already in 2008 Poland became (and still is) a coal net importer: Polish mines sell abroad only 5–6mt of coal annually, and the economy imports three times as much. However, the Port of Gdansk could only handle the import relation in the so-called inner part of the port, where vessels of up to 10.2m draught are received.

In order to cater for the new market needs, a decision was made to make a new investment in the deepwater part of the Port of Gdansk. The dry bulk terminal of the Belgian Sea-Invest Group (Sea-Invest handles approximately 120mt of cargo annually in 25 ports across Europe and Africa), whose construction began back in 2012, is to enable the reception of 15m draught coal- carrying vessels yet in 2013. On 10ha of land, stacking yards are being built, with facilities capable of handling 4,000 tonnes of coal per hour.

The terminal is likely to soon become another successful hub in Port of Gdansk. The advantageous hydrographic and navigational conditions, year-round accessibility for ships without the ice class, and a possibility of accommodating the biggest vessels navigating the Baltic Sea not only enable the Port of Gdansk to overcome the economic slow-down, but also provide the basis for its rapid growth. With both the liquid fuels terminal and the state-of-the-art DCT Terminal already in operation, the Port of Gdansk is set to expand its potential with yet another asset, which will consolidate its position on the Baltic Sea. 

Port of Amsterdam: expansions on course, optimistic about future 

Port of Amsterdam is looking forward to a strong year ahead. All envisioned development projects are on schedule, which will further contribute to the port’s growth.


Commenting on anticipated changes in the port’s corporate structure, Lex de Ridder, cluster manager Energy at the port, said that the corporatization of Port of Amsterdam as a governmental limited liability company is very well on track.

This move will make Port of Amsterdam a public enterprise, with 100% of the shares owned by the City of Amsterdam. It will enable managers to embark on more entrepreneurial relationships both locally, nationally and internationally. It will also enable the port to enter into more commercial arrangements with port companies and attract investors without loading risk onto the City. “It will boost competitiveness and help us win more cargo currently being moved via other Northern Range ports,” says De Ridder.

He adds “It has been decided by the City Council to go ahead. If all goes to plan, we’ll be corporatized at the start of the second quarter this year.”


The new lightering facility, to be located at a harbour on the North Sea at IJmuiden is also still in the pipeline. According to De Ridder, everything is going to plan and the expected official steps have been taken. “That means that The Dutch Ministry of Transport [Rijkswaterstaat] has made the decisions to continue, despite budget cuts by the Dutch government. So this project is moving along prosperously.” De Ridder says environmental impact studies have taken place, and the calculations are looking good.The project is anticipated to be finalized around 2017, with work starting in 2014. The completed lightering station will allow two Capesize vessels to be handled simultaneously, doubling current capacity.

What needs to be done now, is for the port to develop collaborative relationships with regional partners in IJmuiden who will co-operate in this joint venture to optimize the use of the harbour. “That is the plan for this year. So it is on track, but we have to take a few steps legally, also in terms of cooperation with the regional ports. We are very confident that everything will proceed swiftly,” says De Ridder.



The port of Amsterdam started doing well in biomass markets last year. In 2012 biomass increased from 40,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes. “So steps have been taken: biomass has found the port of Amsterdam,” says De Ridder, “but it’s not the end of the road, because most of the co-burning of biomass and coal takes place in the south of the Netherlands, north of Belgium and not so much in Germany yet.” If Nuon/Vattenfall, one of the biggest energy companies in Europe, starts co-burning biomass and coal at its Amsterdam power station, it would signify a big boost to the port’s biomass handling figures.

The port remains optimistic that this will happen, since the central government of the Netherlands has introduced a new environmental policy, which will be implemented in the first half of 2013, and it has also chosen to stimulate biomass. “And I think Vattenfall will then make the decision to start co-burning,” opines De Ridder. He adds “We also hope it balances the coal tax in Holland. The last government has set a coal tax and that is also the reason why the energy companies didn’t make the decision to invest in co-burning with coal. But if the legislation is more balanced and biomass becomes more attractive, and that is the intention of the new government, then I think this year they will make a decision.”

If Vattenfall starts co-burning with biomass, the port of Amsterdam could see biomass tonnage gradually grow to 500,000 tonnes within a few years.

Then, of course, new ways of transshipping the material will need to be found. According to De Ridder, there are a few companies in the port that could step up to the challenge and

the port is already in talks with them to accommodate this new cargo flow. The port is also ready to co-operate with them to develop the necessary conditions or requirements in terms of space, warehousing, nautical infrastructure and dredging.


In 2012, the port of Amsterdam had a very good year in the coal department, especially the first three quarters. The fourth quarter experienced a slight loss due to the strike at Rietlanden Terminals/EDF. The effect was that the port ended up with exactly the same percentages in the end. “We were heading for about 6% or 7% growth, but that disappeared in the last quarter due to the strikes. But we are confident Rietlanden will pick up its volumes as before, now that the conflict is over,” explains De Ridder.


In terms of infrastructure the port is also ready for growth: the terminals have invested very heavily in cranes and internal transportation systems. In the past OBA was the only terminal to offer rail transportation, but now Rietlanden also has its own railway, with the result that it handled quite a bit of additional volume by railway last year. In terms of cranes, OBA added a new gantry crane to its workforce last year.

Barging facilities in all terminals are also completely up to date and the port is ready to accommodate the growth of coal and stimulate the additional growth of biomass. The capacity is already there and is even better than before, because the lightering facilities are better and will reach an ideal lightering condition at IJmuiden in the future.


All in all, Port of Amsterdam is looking forward to the new year and with all future expansion projects going according to plan and the added infrastructure being put in place, the overall feeling is that “the port is ready!”

EMO, 40 years fully equipped to meet its customers’ expectations 

Since 1973, the EMO terminal in the Rotterdam Port has been a major hub in transporting coal and iron ore from all over the world to the European hinterland. EMO has always been a reliable partner for its customers in helping to control these flows of goods by combining daily processes with a clear vision for the future.

EMO is able to accommodate the world’s largest dry bulk vessels, and yet it never ceases to look to the future and plan ahead — now more than ever. In 2012, the terminal significantly increased its storage and transshipment capacity and efficiency by commissioning five new, state-of-the-art projects: its seventh stacker reclaimer, fifth unloader, a second fully automated coal wagon loader, a brand-new sea going vessel loader along an innovative, new quay, and a high- tech operations centre. These projects ensure that EMO is fully equipped to enhance its safety, efficiency and sustainability performance, and to continue to serve its customers as a reliable partner in dry bulk transshipment in the coming decades.

EMO operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It handles large bulk shipments; its discharge capacity is 47mt (million tonnes) and throughput capacity is 60mt. It always approaches its work and planning with the greatest care. EMO believes it is very important to remain state-of-the-art. 
OVET starts fast trainloading 

OVET Dry Bulk Terminal is a major player in the coal supply chain. It is active in the Netherlands with its floating cranes throughout the entire Western Scheldt area in Vlissingen,Terneuzen and Ghent and also in the anchorage berths on the Western Scheldt itself. OVET has two terminals at its disposal at Vlissingen and Terneuzen. These dry bulk terminals are centrally located in deep sea ports in the ARA range between Rotterdam and Antwerp.

OVET B.V. offers a wide range of stevedoring service. It can handle commodities including: coal, coke, petcoke, ores, minerals and scrap. The main activities of OVET are lightening, discharging, storing and distribution and screening of dry bulk cargo.

OVET operates at two deepwater terminals with all hardened and paved stockyards:


  • Terneuzen (Panamax) with a capacity of 160,000m2 — 600,000 tonnes; and
  • Vlissingen (Capesize) with a capacity of 315,000m2 — 2,000,000 tonnes. 


Using four floating cranes (3 x 25 tonnes and 1 x 36 tonnes lifting capacity) with a total capacity of 80,000 tonnes per day,

OVET has also the flexibility to operate at anchorages both in Terneuzen and in Vlissingen. The draught in Terneuzen is set to 12.50 metres freshwater, making the terminal suitable for Panamax vessels. In Vlissingen, the draught is 16.50 metres saltwater. Vlissingen has two Capesize berthing facilities plus one Panamax berth.

The annual handled tonnage by OVET exceeds 10 million tonnes and therefore OVET plays a significant role in the dry bulk stevedoring market.

Terneuzen and Flushing offer excellent connections (inland waterways, rail and road) to Benelux, France and Germany and are also ideally geographically located for overseas dispatch to Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland.

At the Vlissingen terminal OVET operates a warehouse of

6,000m2, mainly used for the storing of wood pellets. The warehouse contains six separate cells with a total capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes of wood pellets. Of course, the warehouse can also be used for other products that need covered storage.

Affiliated to OVET is the shipping agency OVET Shipping which offers a reliable 24-hour service throughout the River Scheldt area. This guarantees an efficient and effective handling of customers’ vessels.

Another affiliate of OVET is OVET Screening, a company which is specialized in screening, crushing and blending activities. At both terminals OVET operates (mobile) screening and crushing installations. In 2012 investments were made in two new mobile screening installations for the Vlissingen terminal. With these machines OVET is able to screen dry bulk material up to 5 fractions with a maximum input capacity of 400 metric tonnes per hour.

As from 1 July 2013, the OVET Vlissingen terminal will have at its disposal a new train loading facility allowing a 44 wagon train (approximately 2,700 metric tonnes net weight) to be loaded in 2.5 hours. The port delivers excellent rail connections, rail paths and shunting services. Different rail companies are present in the port. With these facilities OVET is able to expand coal rail transport towards the European hinterland, mainly to source the German power and steel industry. 
Confident 2013 expected for GIE HAROPA 

Gathered within the GIE HAROPA economic interest group since the beginning of 2012, the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris constitute the fifth north-European harbour set today. In 2012, the HAROPA alliance achieved a maritime tonnage of 85,490mt (million tonnes), which represents a fall of 9% compared with 2011. This fall is due in great part to the reduction in bulk traffic. Container exports, however, experienced a rise of +5%.


The year 2012 was an average one for cereal, which had an impact on bulk traffic. However, the prospects for 2013 are positive, fuelled by exports of dynamic cereal since the beginning of the year.


After a subdued grain season in 2012 (5.45mt, –28% compared to 2011, that is 48% of market share of the solid bulk), and the records registered in 2010 and 2011, HAROPA expects a good first half of the year 2013, the export of cereal having appreciably started again. Thanks to its whole cereal bulk offer and containerization, HAROPA offers its customers an excellent range of services in Europe. Cereal operators are planning to improve and develop their terminals. For example, Sénalia (diversifying in Rouen by handling solid fertilizers with the American group Koch, as well as storing cocoa beans) has invested more than €40 million over five years in its facilities.


Coal traffic was relatively stable in 2012 (1.6 million tonnes, –9% compared with 2011, 14% of HAROPA’s total traffic), in spite of technical breakdowns in several parts of production plants. Long-term perspectives remain on a downward trend, contrasting with the global European market. HAROPA notes the good resistance of the industrial coal market (boiler rooms, industries etc.).

In 2012, 18 coal stopovers were registered at the Sea-Invest terminal of Grand-Couronne, among them, the ship Cape Elise, with 76,400 tonnes of coal, and Densa Shark with 55,000 tonnes loaded in Richards Bay in South Africa on 26 August 2012. With 292 metres, the Densa Shark was about the longest ship ever received in the port of Rouen, on the Seine river, in 120 kilometres of sea. On 25 January 2013, the same terminal, Sea-Invest, received the STX Joy, also 292 metres, and unloaded 56,000 tonnes of coal, also from Richards Bay.


Over the coming years, there is expected to be a significant growth in traffic. This will be due to the combined effect of increasing demand (housing construction in the greater Paris area), and the depletion of resources in Ile-de-France. In terms of aggregates, in 2012, HAROPA achieved traffic figures of 1.9 million tonnes, –5% compared with 2011, representing 17% of HAROPA’s total traffic. Haropa-Rouen registered the starting of the terminal marine aggregates of SPS (CEMEX/GSM) to Saint-Jean-de-Folleville. Another positive element worth mentioning, is a €80 million investment by Lafarge Cements to modernize its factory at Saint-Vigor-d'Ymonville. 
How one night of disaster can change your whole year 

What should have been a year of accomplishment in 2012 for Westshore Terminals was overshadowed by disaster for Canada’s leading coal export terminal.

Westshore saw its year turn from success to new challenge overnight when a large dry bulk carrier slammed through a causeway connecting the main terminal with its major deep-sea dock.

The unbelievable happened at about 1am on 7 December 2012 when the Japanese-owned, Panama registered dry bulker Cape Apricot failed to make a routine berthing manoeuvre and sliced clean through the causeway trestle crashing a high-speed conveyor, power, water, and the connecting roadway into the ocean.

The mishap demolished over 100 metres of trestle and cut off a ship part-way through loading at Berth 1 from its vital coal supply, putting Westshore’s most productive berth out of action for weeks.

The early morning incident was enough of a shock that

Piles are in and the steel superstructure begins to take shape in the rapid rebuild.

Westshore vice president and general manager, Denis Horgan, called it the “biggest catastrophe in our 43-year history.” Luckily, no one was injured in the crash and the vessel suffered only minor damage. In fact, it eventually made the correct docking at Westshore’s Berth 2 and sailed fully laden a few days later relatively unscathed, albeit the subject of a gross negligence lawsuit.

Westshore should have been celebrating the commissioning of a new twin rotary dumper — the final equipment in a five- year, $110 million equipment upgrade — which had just been completed a week or so before through the second of two planned partial site shutdowns. That work, which also included a fourth new stacker-reclaimer, new conveyors, installation of new chutes in conveyor transfer towers, and other projects, was designed to take the terminal’s annual capacity from 23.5mt (million tonnes) to 33mt.

But, the new worry was the halving of the facility’s capacity because of the causeway mishap and the resulting scramble to keep customers happy. Horgan and the Westshore team had been expecting to be planning a 2013 with the strong prospect of breaking the 30mt mark in coal exports for the first time.

Instead, they were quickly searching out salvage firms and others to help with the rapid rebuild of the shattered causeway and its coal moving equipment. The rebuild began within hours when salvage cranes mounted on barges reached the site. The rebuild had to be carefully managed so the sea bed would not be disturbed as the tangled steelwork from the causeway and about 30 tonnes of coal off the conveyor were recovered.

Westshore announced a reduced dividend in late December for its unit holders along with news of the filing of a lawsuit against the Cape Apricot and its registered owner Takei Kaiun of Japan, alleging the owner is liable for gross negligence in bringing the ship into the terminal on 7 December 2012. The actual crash is under investigation by Canada’s Transportation Safety Board.

At time of writing in early February,Westshore had made amazing progress in the rebuild with new piling in place and other steel structure fabricated up and down the West Coast starting to be erected. Berth 1 was expected to be back in operation by mid-February.

The unheralded causeway trestle mishap — Westshore had handled over 8,300 ships without a serious incident — put a one million-tonne plus dent in the output of the terminal from what could have been a record year. Instead, the year end came and went with total throughput for 2012 pegged at 26.1mt, somewhat disappointing following as it did two back-to-back record years previously, which culminated in a 27.3mt total in 2011.

There was one welcome milestone just the same, and Westshore moved its 700 millionth tonne of coal since opening in 1970 as December came to an end.

“We’d been looking forward to achieving that milestone and a record year,” says Horgan. “But, with this new challenge, we’ve been more concerned about dusting ourselves off and getting stuck in to the rebuild as quickly as possible.”

As the busiest single coal export terminal in all of North America,Westshore may still break the 30 million tonne mark in 2013 depending how quickly it is able to bounce back to being a two-berth operation. Before the Cape Apricot incident, the terminal was under growing pressure from its major customers such as Teck Coal to get quickly into full production mode after two planned shutdowns were completed successfully in 2012 for the equipment upgrades.

“It has been frustrating seeing our customers forced to scramble to seek tonnage through our rival terminals such as Ridley in the Port of Prince Rupert and to a lesser extent Neptune Terminals, which like Westshore is part of Port Metro Vancouver.

“Having a two-berth terminal again just can’t happen soon enough for us or our mine customers,” says Horgan.

With two twin dumper sets, four new or modernized stacker- reclaimers, more efficient conveyor chutes, and a host of other improvements,Westshore has a lot to prove this year as its shows off the benefits of the $110 million it has spent on the equipment upgrades.

While Horgan says Westshore has no plans to increase the size of its footprint or to add any new equipment to the 54 hectare site, the terminal is keen to optimize its existing leased land and is reviewing the replacement of ageing infrastructure to further improve efficiency.

ProvPort – positioned for bulk trade leadership 

The world keeps getting smaller and the East Coast of the United States is getting closer and closer to the rest of the world everyday, writes Chris Waterson, Marketing Director, ProvPort.

Global trade is on the rebound from its 2007 highs. The transformation of the Panama Canal will re-calibrate global trade.


In Providence, Rhode Island the ProvPort facility is repositioning to lead the resurgence. Already, the second busiest (FC) port in New England, ProvPort is investing $20 million dollars and upgrading its cranes and infrastructure to be a part of the global trade revolution.

Historically, ProvPort has been the leading bulk port operation in New England. As a result of a $20 million investment fuelled in part by federal funding the facility is upgrading with two barge-based Liebherr harbour mobile cranes, type LHM 550.


The new cranes give ProvPort a speed and efficiency advantage over other facilities in the northeast. For ports in the Northeast of the United States the challenge moving forward in the next decade will be to create a convergence centre — facilities that offer deep water and are linked to rail and the American interstate system.

ProvPort is striving to be the model facility. Located at the convergence of Narragansett Bay and the Providence River, the deep-water, weather-protected berths with up to 40-foot draughts is uniquely connected to the leading highway infrastructure of the northeast Route I-95, I-295, and I-195.


ProvPort is dedicated to maximizing loading/discharging operations in the most safe, economical and efficient manner possible to expedite vessel turnaround.

The facility and the ProvPort team can count on an experienced labour force to deliver for the leading companies in the world. Fully licensed and bonded, ProvPort has a proven track record of increased productivity. The goal is to provide the highest quality services while controlling the costs of handling.

The ProvPort has over 300,000ft2 of covered warehouse space available and over twenty acres of open lay-down area for short or long-term storage needs. The covered space also doubles as a storage/distribution centre as needed, with over ten truck bay doors for direct-access loading/unloading, as well as along-side rail for quick and easy transloading.


ProvPort is one of the few (FC) port facilities that is actively importing low sulphur coal for American power plants and is an export facility for American coal fuelling power plants in Europe (FC). As the Northeast’s only true intermodal on-dock rail service, connecting our clients to all major national lines that provide rail service to any location in the contiguous US and Canada, ProvPort is the most efficient coal facility. In the spring of 2013, ProvPort plans to invest approximately $1 million on a

rail unloading system to further increase export coal efficiency.

The future of coal imports may be tied in port to the efficiency of the ports that service them. With fracking’s growth in the United States and greater access to an ever increasing North American natural gas, imported coal must be transported and delivered at a highly efficient cost.


As a result of location, infrastructure improvements, and a management team driven to move materials faster and more efficiently, the ProvPort approach to moving bulk and specifically coal has lead to

remarkable growth for the port. In the past decade, ProvPort’s bulk tonnage has increased in

excess of 400%.


While data shows that Eastern ports saw traffic grow by 5.5% in Q1 2012 over the same quarter in 2011 — growing at almost twice the rate of west coast ports (3%). Eastern traffic growth is expected to accelerate further after the 2015 Panama Canal expansion is complete.

ProvPort’s location, track record of success and investment in infrastructure will create the most efficient port for bulk shippers. 
Key port expansions keep Kinder Morgan at the top of its game 
The international demand for US export metallurgical and thermal coals continues to grow in Europe and Asia at record levels. For the past two years, Kinder Morgan has been expanding a few key terminals to keep up with the increased demand. At Kinder Morgan’s terminals, export coal volumes increased by almost 38% for the full year, to a record of approximately 20.7mt (million tonnes) versus 2011. The increased volume was shipped primarily through the Pier IX terminal, with the International Marine Terminal (IMT) and the Port of Houston terminals seeing increases in volume during construction improvements which will increase the throughput capacity at the terminals. At Pier IX, some of Kinder Morgan’s improvements over the past few years include a new tandem rotary dumper, upgraded conveyors and coal chutes, a new railcar thaw shed and new mass flow coal feeders. In addition, Kinder Morgan is investing approximately $29 million of additional capital to further expand the overall capacity and throughput of the Pier IX terminal. The improvements will include the expansion of the existing storage yards and the replacement of the existing rail indexer. The additional capacity is fully subscribed and is supported by a new long-term agreement with a major US coal producer. Upon completion of the expansion, the improvement will increase the coal export capacity of the Pier IX terminal by approximately 1.5mt allowing the terminal to handle more than 16mt of coal per year to the export market.


Kinder Morgan is also investing approximately $400 million to expand its Gulf Coast terminal network. Kinder Morgan’s Gulf Coast terminal network is comprised of its partnership interest in the International Marine Terminal, which is located in Myrtle Grove Louisiana, the Houston Bulk Terminal and the Deepwater Export Terminal, both located in Houston,Texas. After completion of all of the export expansion projects, Kinder Morgan’s Gulf Coast terminal network will have a coal export nameplate capacity of approximately 27 million short tonnes per year. AtIMT,KinderMorgananditspartner,AEPRiver Operations, will invest approximately $170 million to increase IMT’s coal export capacity. The IMT terminal improvements include a new shiploader that will be capable of loading Capesize vessels. The improvements will also include a second continuous barge unloader, improved reclaim and distribution systems, and a dedicated barge loader. These improvements will eliminate technical bottlenecks that have constrained the terminal’s throughput capacity in the past. Upon completion of the improvements, IMT will have an export capacity of 16mt.


One of the biggest changes on the Gulf Coast is Kinder Morgan’s ability to export coal out of the Houston Ship Channel. Kinder Morgan’s two Houston terminals, Houston Bulk Terminal and Deepwater Export Terminal, provide western producers with the ability to rail their coal directly to the export terminals as compared to railing material to the river and barging it to the lower Mississippi River. Back-stopped by long- term contracts with Peabody and Arch, Kinder Morgan is constructing improvements at its existing petcoke export terminals which will allow them to efficiently and economically export western coal. The first phase of the Houston Bulk Terminal expansion project and the interim improvements at Deepwater are completed, and both terminals will export coal in 2013. At the Houston Bulk Terminal, Kinder Morgan has constructed a new coal receiving, storage and reclaim system. Kinder Morgan is also upgrading the existing shipping system which will increase the terminal’s coal and petcoke export capacity.

Upon completion of the improvements, the Houston Bulk Terminal will have the ability to export 3mt of coal annually. The improvements at the Deepwater Export Terminal include a new shiploader capable of loading post-Panamax vessels, new loop tracks capable of simultaneously holding three 135-car unit trains, a new rotary dumper, segregated distribution and reclaim systems, and a new shipping system. Following completion of the expansion, the Deepwater Terminal will have an export coal throughput capacity of 10mt of coal per year.


All of the capital improvements will be designed and constructed to meet or exceed industry safety and environmental standards for similar facilities. Safety, environmental excellence and compliance, and commitment to its customers continue to be high priorities at Kinder Morgan. In 2012, Kinder Morgan Terminals recorded a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 1.58 which is considerably lower than the industry average.

Nectar expands its activities to coal terminals 

The development of new mines and resources in developing regions such as Africa are providing opportunities for new coal export terminals in either existing ports or as stand-alone projects to support the logistics activity.

There are clear benefits to be gained, even to the untrained eye, by improving logistics of running such operations.The chain between the coal face and the final user involves multiple challenges in relation to handling systems, modes of transport, loading systems and scheduling of all respective activities in relation to each other.

Additionally, each of these activities has its own set of standards in terms of operational, safety and environmental measures which need to be implemented accordingly. In most cases, these activities are carried out by different parties under different arrangements and agreements. The lack of co-ordination of methods and systems employed by different parties involved often lead to inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the system, subsequently leading to delays and extra costs for all the parties involved.

Nectar Group has successfully operated in developing countries since 1972 and has since handled an ever increasing variety of commodities utilizing various handling methods. The Group has gained particular experience in relation to the newly developing coal terminals during the last two years with its involvement in an export terminal in the region.

There are three key areas in the chain which are important for efficient running of a terminal.The first relates to the delivery of coal to the terminal. It is important that any study carried out in relation to the mining capability and the capacity

of the transport system to deliver coal to the terminal is carried out taking into account realistic circumstances rather than relying on technical and statistical figures alone. If coal is to be delivered by rail, as mostly the case in newly developing projects, true capability of the line can only be established by careful consideration of the multiple demands on that line by different parties including passenger traffic.

Renovation and adding extra rolling stock alone do not necessarily lead to maximum utilization and efficiency. The important factor of managing the transport link, in this case the rail line, is often overlooked. Extra demand by adding significant volume and frequency of coal movement on to an existing network, increases the demand in terms of capacity significantly. This requires careful managing during a transition period to ensure that the required improvement in capacity is achieved in practice without causing a major bottleneck in the system.

Another important consideration in this respect is the link between the capacity of delivery and the discharge system installed at the terminal. The inevitable bottlenecks in transport network most of the time requires that the delivery system at the terminal to be designed with flexibility in mind in relation to accommodating different modes of delivery of coal to the terminal.

The second key area is the design and operational efficiency of the terminal for handling coal. The uncertainty in relation to political factors, demand projections and regulatory issues in countries of origin are preventing investors from taking long- term decisions in relation to the design and equipment quality of the terminals. The desire to balance the budget in most cases  leads to the design parameters to be planned in accordance with minimum acceptable standards in every respect. The uncertainty is also leading users towards temporary solutions rather than long-term planning in terminal design and operation. In practice, this causes nothing more than false economy. The inferior quality materials used in construction of a terminal normally start to incur extra costs within the first year of operation and they are guaranteed to wipe out any initial savings planned for the project. Another worrying trend is the lack of continuous and effective quality control during the building of a terminal to ensure that good workmanship is exercised throughout.

This is also reflected on the specifications of equipment chosen which in most cases do not leave any buffer to take into account any changes in cargo specifications, for instance even a simple factor such as the moisture change in coal due to seasonal circumstances. The equipment design based on minimum operational and technical parameters quickly lead to problems and increased maintenance expenditure when the demand on capacity starts to peak.

The vital link between delivery, handling and loading capacity is also overlooked most of the time. A bottleneck could be experienced in any of these three points if the operational parameters are not aligned properly with each other. In most cases, design parameters are taken as the leading indicators to calculate equipment requirements, however, practical operational limits taking into account local circumstances are not properly considered. This, in turn, leads to a capacity gap between design and practical capacity of the terminal in real life.

The third area is the connection between the terminal and the quay. This is particularly important if the terminal is developed as a part of an existing port infrastructure. Careful consideration needs to be given to the design and characteristics of the quay to ensure that the quay structure can support the loading equipment as well as the size and type of the vessel that the terminal will be accommodating. The users need to have a dialog with the port at early stages of such a development in relation to the type and size of vessels they intend to trade and discuss issues arising from access point of view which could have significant consequences for terminal throughput and performance. The issues such as tidal conditions, access channels, navigation restrictions and interaction with other port traffic plays an important role in success of a project. There also needs to be a dialogue in relation to the suitability of the vessels to be serviced with the loading equipment to be employed. The incompatibility between the two, too often leads to reduced performance for the terminal.

The overall success in these projects very much depends on having an experienced terminal operator such as Nectar Group to contribute to the development of the project from the very early stages. The developers, designers and investors need to ensure that the planned output for such new terminal developments can match the reality in practice. It is also important to have a long-term perspective in terms of benefits that the terminal would bring to a particular region or country and this in turn needs to be reflected in design and selection of equipment for the terminal from the very early stages of development. Therefore, it is important keep in mind that although these developments offer opportunities, they also call for much needed caution and co-ordination for an investor.

JSC Baltic Coal Terminal — modern coal gateway in the Baltic 

In 2012 there were 88 vessels loaded via BALTIC COAL TERMINAL at the Port of Ventspils in Latvia. Coal transshipment increased 18%, year-on- year, to 4.8mt (million tonnes). The total coal volume since the launch of the terminal (since 2009) is more than 14mt of Russian coal. Coal handled by the terminal is exported largely to Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Germany, Italy, France.

In January 2013 the biggest volume of cargo since the launch of the terminal was loaded onto the ship — it totalled 88,200 tonnes. The terminal’s maximum shiploading capacity is 40,000 tonnes per day; maximum railcar unloading is 500 a day.

The terminal can currently handle up to 6mt per year. When the second phase of the expansion project is completed, the specialized coal terminal’s capacity will reach 10.5mt.

In 2013, the BALTIC COAL TERMINAL plans to remain at the same operating rates as 2012. In cooperation with Ventspils Freeport authority the construction of the second berth with a depth of 16m has started, which in future will allow the loading of two Capesize vessels up to 120,000dwt simultaneously. 
Puerto Mejillones: strategic partner of Chilean mining 

One of the main bulk ports in northern Chile, with over 15 years of operation, has become a leading player in the mining supply chain.

During 2012, the company transferred more than two and a half million tonnes of solid bulks such as coal, petcoke, clinker, limestone and sulphur. In the area of liquid bulk, the terminal transferred and stored in the same year about two million tonnes of sulphuric acid.

The high input demand for mining in northern Chile, especially sulphuric acid to produce copper cathodes and coal for local power plants, have positioned Puerto Mejillones as the leading terminal that provides supplies to this important economic sector.

Located in the north of Chile, in the region of Antofagasta — one of the main centres of mining development in South America – Puerto Mejillones has a privileged location near major mining projects in northern Chile and is connected by road and rail to major mining centers in Argentina and Bolivia. Its setting allows it to have excellent geographical surroundings that protect it from the tides and winds from the south, along with extensive support areas, and excellent weather conditions that allow the port to be closed less than one day a year.

The terminal specializes in handling solid bulks such as coal, sulfur, limestone and clinker, and liquid bulks such as sulphuric acid. It has two sites specially designed to mobilize these substances, allowing fast transfer rates and shorter stay of ships at the port.

Among its facilities, the terminal has ten storage tanks of sulphuric acid of 20,000 tonnes each, with a total capacity of 200,000 tonnes, and an esplanade of 26 hectares that allows future growth to ensure the transfer of liquid and solid bulks.


During 2012, Puerto Mejillones transferred more than 4.5mt (million tonnes), which corresponds almost 2mt of coal, more than a million and a half tonnes of sulphuric acid and more than 500,000 tonnes of zinc and lead concentrates. For 2013, Puerto Mejillones expects to transfer a record load, mobilizing more than 5mt. With those numbers, it will be positioned as a leader

in the industry, being the largest bulk terminal in northern Chile and 8th nationally.

Puerto Mejillones takes into account the rise of mining development in the Region of Antofagasta and the challenges this presents. For this reason the port has decided to carry out within its investment plan, the construction of a new site and a new shiploader with a capacity of 3mt of transfer, exclusive for mineral concentrates. The terminal currently has an Environmental Impact Declaration (EID) approved for loading and storage of such minerals.


Puerto Mejillones maintains an integrated management policy, focused on maintaining the quality of its operations, care of the environment, prevention of injuries and diseases, pollution prevention and business growth.

Francisco Ortúzar, general manager of Puerto Mejillones, adds that this policy aims to transform the terminal into a benchmark for the region. “We want to become an example of port on issues of sustainability and growth in conjunction with our environment, both social and environmental. Puerto Mejillones has major expansion projections and will continue to consolidate as one of the main terminals of the region,” he explained.

In this line, Puerto Mejillones has conducted various environmental improvements in its facilities, which includes the

purchase of modern dredgers for unloading coal, allowing a reduction in the material that falls into the sea, and the installation of collection trays in all short conveyors belts of discharge, eliminating any chance of material falling from the discharge system.

Furthermore, each month the company carries out an ‘environmental monitoring programme, which consists in monitoring of the operational processes involving actions that may affect the marine environment.

Another initiative is the ‘Air Quality Monitoring Programme’, which consists of making continuous sampling of 24 hours every three days, using high purity filters. Since early this year Puerto Mejillones is part of the World Ports Climate Initiative and is pursuing a certification process to measure its carbon footprint. 
Coal handling in the Port of Pori 2012 

The total volume of coal and coke handled in the Finland’s Port of Pori in 2012 was 0.94 million metric tonnes.

The year 2012 turned out to be drastic to coal handling in the Port of Pori.Volumes of imported coal dropped by 66% compared to the previous year.The drop was caused by the fact that the stockpiles of the coal power stations in the Tahkoluoto area were practically full.The trend in transit coal handling was steadier although the amount of handling dropped also in that commodity.The bright spot of the year 2012 was that the transit coal handling contract was renewed.

In the year 2012 only 616,000 metric tonnes were unloaded in the Tahkoluoto deep harbour of the Port of Pori, whereas in the previous year the corresponding figure was 1.826 million tonnes. It was also unusual that a great deal of the import was coke and not energy coal.This so called transit coal continues after re-loading in Tahkoluoto to the Finnish metallurgical industry farther north.

The vessel traffic dropped also significantly. In the year 2012 only 20 vessels carrying coal called Tahkoluoto harbour. In the year 2011 the number of calls was 83.This traffic slowdown provided space for remediation dredging in the deep harbour including the fairway inside the port area. Renovations in the quayside were also made.

During the year four Capesize vessels called Tahkoluoto harbour.They did not take the full advantage of the 15.3 metre fairway but called the deep harbour in lighter load.The last Capesize vessel of the year 2012 called Pori on the 6th of December. The fairway to Tahkoluoto and the basin were completely free of ice, although the winter came early. During the short winter season the traffic continues with ice-classed vessels.The biggest of them are Panamax vessels.Transit coal traffic to the north is based on the ice-classed pusher barges.

There have not been changes in the handling capacity of coal in the Port of Pori during the year 2012. In the short run the output depends on the size and construction of the vessels calling the port.The average unloading capacity in Tahkoluoto coal harbour is 30,000 metric tonnes in 24 hours. Loading capacity is 1,000 metric tonnes in an hour.Tonnes per hour is used as an indicator in loading, because the coke is loaded to the barges.

Large changes in the field of energy are taking place in the near future in Finland. A new sub-sea cable carrying electric power between Sweden and Finland was taken in use in the end of the year 2011.This cable increased the transmission capacity between Finland and Sweden by 40%. The cable connects the electricity markets in the Scandinavian countries tight with each other.According to the strategic plans Finland will increase the share of bio-energy to be one-third of the total energy production by the year 2020.The most remarkable change in the supply of energy will happen, when a new nuclear power station is completed in the year 2015 and starts to produce energy with the capacity of 1,600MW.The Parliament has approved the construction of two additional nuclear power units.

The Port of Pori is preparing for the changes and is looking for new development paths. Regarding energy, LNG is one of the main objects of interest. But the Port of Pori is suitable for all kinds of cargoes. Mining industry is booming in Finland and the Port of Pori has excellent preconditions to serve the whole mining cluster.The strengths and competitive edge of the Port of Pori have not changed. The fairway to Tahkoluoto harbour is the deepest in the Gulf of Bothnia area and easy to navigate because of non-existing archipelago.The Port of Pori is one of the best winter ports in Finland. Infrastructure and suprastructure are in form and the staff is used to handle all sizes of vessels from barges to Capesize vessels.Tahkoluoto has all qualifications to operate as an energy port and a hub also in future.Actually the year 2013 is expected to be better than the year 2012 in the coal handling. 

During the existence of the coal harbour in Tahkoluoto the large fluctuations have been characteristic in coal handling. One of the main factors in the use of energy coal is climatic conditions during the winter-time.There are large storage fields in the Tahkoluoto area where energy coal is stored to be used during the winter. New land is reclaimed by filling the sea for example with ash originated from the power plants.

The Port of Pori aims to strengthen the status of the Tahkoluoto harbour as an energy harbour by diversifying its activities.The Port of Pori offers free sites to the industry and logistics companies.Tahkoluoto is an excellent choice to the actors in the energy business. 
Port of Thessaloniki: major dry bulk port in the Southern Balkans 

Ports as crucial nodes of supply chains play a significant role in the world trade, writes Dr George Vaggelas, Advisor to the President and C.E.O. of Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A. This is also valid for the Southern Balkan area where the existence of landlocked countries (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia) increases the importance of ports for the trade and the economy of the region. The port of Thessaloniki is located in Northern Greece (is Southern than its main competitors in the region, thus more close to major sea-trade routes) and is the second biggest port in the country, after Piraeus. The company exploiting the port infrastructures and superstructures, is Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A. which is listed in Athens Stock Exchange since 2001.

The port facilitates any kinds of cargo (dry bulk, general, liquid bulk, Ro-Ro containers) and passenger traffic (cruise and ferry). It has a significant experience in handling dry bulk cargoes as they account for 26.3% of the ports total throughput. The port’s main competitors are the port of Durres (Albania), Burgas and Varna (Bulgaria) and Bar (Montenegro). 


In 2012 almost 3.65mt (million tonnes) of dry bulk cargoes were facilitated in the port of Thessaloniki. The majority of dry bulk cargoes are ores (especially nickel ore) and coal (petcoke, lignite, bituminous coal etc.). Table 1 shows the dry bulk traffic at the port of Thessaloniki for the years 2010–2012 (tonnes).


The port has six piers with a total quay length of 6,200m, a sea depth ranging from 8 to 12m and is divided in three terminals: the passenger terminal which is located between piers No.1 and 2; the dry bulk and general cargoes terminal which uses the piers 4, 5 and the eastern part of pier 6; and finally the container terminal located in the western part of pier 6. Liquid bulk cargoes are facilitating through a pipeline connecting the storage tanks (private facilities) with the tankers anchorage.

The storage areas (open and indoor) have a total surface of 600,000m2 square metres while a SILO is located on the fourth pier.As the majority of the dry bulk cargoes (52.9%) are coming or destined to neighbouring countries, the port operates a Free Trade Zone.


Dry bulk cargoes constitute a core business for the port of Thessaloniki. The terminal is equipped with 44 rail-mounted harbour cranes with a capacity up to 40 tonnes and two mobile cranes with a capacity of 100 tonnes, giving the ability to strengthen the cargo (un)loading operations whenever and wherever is needed. Apart from the cranes the terminal operates various cargo handling equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, trucks etc.

The busiest part of the terminal is dock No 24 (the eastern part of pier six). In 2012 it facilitated the 47.06% of the dry bulk cargoes throughput. This dock has a length of 640m, a depth of 12m and a width of 160m. These dimensions allow the facilitation of bulk carriers with a capacity up to 58,000dwt. The dock has six rail-mounded harbour cranes, four of them with a capacity of 40 tonnes and the other two with a capacity of 32 tonnes.


The port of Thessaloniki has a rail network inside the port, reaching all the docks in the dry bulk and general cargoes terminal (as well as in the container terminal) and is the only port in Greece which is directly connected with the national rail network. About 45% of the dry bulk cargoes are transported with rail to and from the neighbouring countries. In the medium term, the port authority in cooperation with railway operators is planning to launch daily scheduled rail services to the port’s hinterland (currently the use of rail for transporting dry bulk cargoes is on a case by case basis). It is worth mentioning that the port of Thessaloniki is a node in the Pan-

European Corridors IV and X, connecting the port with Central European countries (i.e. Germany, Austria, and others). Moreover, the port has a direct access to the national highway network.


Aiming at preserving and expanding its market share as well as increasing its competitiveness, the port of Thessaloniki has adopted an investment plan in order to further strengthen the port’s infrastructures and the dry bulk cargo handling equipment. Regarding the port infrastructures, the main investment plan is to expand dock 24 by 300m in length and 160m in width. The expansion will increase also the operational depth of the new part of the dock to 16m, which means that the port will be able to facilitate ships with a capacity up to 80,000dwt. The estimated budget of the project is €50 millions and will be financed exclusively by the Port Authority’s equity capitals. This project will give a competitive advantage to the port of Thessaloniki.

Apart from the expansion of dock 24, the Port Authority is planning to invest in the modernization of the cargo handling equipment.A tender for two new (1+1) rail mounted harbour cranes (40 tonnes capacity) is in progress. Furthermore, in 2013 the port authority will launch tenders for five new rail mounted harbour cranes plus one mobile crane.The new equipment will reinforce dock 24 as well as the docks in the fifth pier.

Moreover, the port will invest in various mechanical equipment (such as bulldozers and trucks) which are necessary for handling dry bulk cargoes at storage areas. The budget for the new cranes (2+5) is estimated at €25 millions while the auxiliary equipment will require an investment of up to €5,2 millions. The completion of the planned investments will help the port of Thessaloniki to maintain its role as the main gate port for the Southern Balkan area.

Dr George Vaggelas is an Advisor to the President and C.E.O. of Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A. and a Research Fellow in European Port Policy (EPP) at the University of the Aegean, Greece. He has authored several papers published in scientific journals and conferences. He is member of PortEconomics.eu, a web-based initiative aiming to advance knowledge on seaport studies.