Liège Port Authority: success and major projects
The largest inland port in Belgium (18.2mt [million tonnes] in
2009), Liège Port Authority, currently manages 32 port areas
(369ha) along the River Meuse and the Albert canal in Liège
Accessible to sea-going vessels (up to 2,500 tonnes) and
convoys propelled by two barges (4,500 tonnes), Liège Port
Authority also manages two container terminals linked up to
Antwerp Port and Rotterdam Port by a container river shuttle
system. Liège Port Authority also offers short sea shipping
services travelling to various countries, including the United
Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal and Russia.
The Liège port complex forms the hinterland of the major
North Sea seaports (Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam and
Dunkirk). The link between the major seaports and the inland
versions used to be overlooked but inland ports are now
acknowledged as playing an increasingly important role in the
logistical chain, as underscored by the ‘extended gateways’
theory developed by the VIL (Flemish Logistics Institute). The
aim is to guarantee a seamless system of distribution
downstream from the port cargo unloading system on the basis
of close co-operation between the seaports and inland ports.
This involves transferring containers to the hinterland within the
shortest space of time. Located 14 navigation hours from
Antwerp and 24 hours from Rotterdam, the Port of Liège is
regarded as a strategic hub for the seamless provision of goods
to the hinterland.
Against this background, we should also point to the recent
start-up of a scheduled container service between Liège and
Rotterdam as the outcome of close co-operation between Liège
Container Terminal (Renory) and European Container Terminal
(ECT). This initiative means Liège Container Terminal has now
become a key link in the drive to guarantee smooth traffic flows
between Rotterdam and Wallonia.
With the same aim in view, Antwerp Port, Liège Port
Authority and the SPI+ (Liège Province Economic Development
Agency) have concluded long-term agreements as part of an
Economic Interest Grouping (EIG) designed to further the
marketing of the new Liège Trilogiport multimodal platform
(100 hectares) developed by the Liège Port Authority.
The new Liège Trilogiport multimodal platform
offers three key assets:
  •   three sea access routes (Antwerp, Rotterdam, Dunkirk);
  •   three transport modes (water, rail, road); and
  •   and three border markets (France, Germany, Netherlands).
Liège Trilogiport is set to be invested with a container terminal (15 hectares),
which will be run by Euroports and Dubai Ports World. Liège Trilogiport is also
scheduled to receive a logistics area managed by a] the German company
Deutsche Lagerhaus Trilogiport/CETIM (30 hectares) and b] the Belgian company
Warehouses De Pauw (10 hectares). Lastly, Liège
Trilogiport also has 15ha of still unoccupied port land.
Set to be become a fully-fledged “logistical village in the
centre of Europe in the near future,” Liège Trilogiport seeks
to act as a powerful draw for companies using the waterways
and major distribution centres in Europe and offering high
value-adding and job creation opportunities.
The Port of Liège now aspires to prove itself as a port area
ideally located in the natural hinterland of the major seaports
(Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam and Dunkirk) so that Liège is
recognized more than ever before for the key inland waterway
logistical role it plays.
  •   18.2mt (water-rail-road) carried in 2009 (including 13mt by waterway);
  •   26km of quays;
  •   369 ha of port land;
  •   two container terminals;
  •   one covered dock (1 ha);
  •   one roll-on/roll-off quay;
  •   storage tanks for petroleum products (226,500m3); and
  •   69 storage warehouses occupying a total of ±15 covered hectares;
  •   grain silos with a total capacity of 50,000m3;
  •   yacht harbour (120 locations); and
  •   11,639 direct & 17,399 indirect jobs.
In terms of the level of traffic throughput at the Liège Port
Authority: there was a significant increase of 24% (water–rail–road) in 2010.
Global traffic achieved by Liège Port Authority during the
first half of the year came to 10,547,712 tonnes, representing an
increase of 2,024,395 tonnes (+24%) compared with the same
period in 2009.
The first half year was marked by an increase in imports of the
ores and coal (+400,000 tonnes) required to supply Ougrée
blast furnace, restarted in 2010, as well as by a recovery in iron
and steel exports (+150,000 tonnes).
Liège Port Authority also saw a healthy increase in quarry
products during this first half year (+350,000 tonnes) at the
Engis and Hermalle-sous-Huy ports. A significant increase in
imports of agricultural products and the export of biofuels
was also generated in Statte (+140,000t) by Biowanze.
Recovery is also noticeable at the level of
container goods, with 8,887 TEU[1] handled (river
freight), that is an increase of 1,082 units
Finally, it should be noted that this partial tonnage ranks 2010 as being
the third best year in the history of  Liège Port Authority, after 2007
(7,713,429 tonnes) and 2008 (8,044,703 tonnes) which
were seen as ‘record years’.
A total of 2,095,435 tonnes by road were
handled in Liège Port Authority (an increase of 408.658
tonnes (+24 %) compared with the first semester of 2009.
1,090,275 tonnes by rail were handled in
Liège Port Authority (an increase of 427,413
tonnes (+64 %).
In addition, according to a recent study by Banque nationale
de Belgique concerning the economic importance of the Liège
port complex during the 2008 ‘record year’, the jobs created by
Liège port activities increased and represented 11,639 direct
jobs (+1.7% as compared with 2007) and 17,399 indirect jobs
(+4.8% as compared with 2007). Added value also increased by
10% as compared with 2007, moving from €2,626 million in
2007 to €2,888.70 million in 2008.
These various encouraging observations are strengthening
Liège Port Authority in its desire to continue with its ambitious
investment policy during future years with the aim of
contributing to the economic redeployment of the Province of
Liège. From this perspective, the transport of containers must
represent the main source of growth in river-maritime transport
in coming years, thanks in particular to the development of the
Liège Trilogiport multi-modal platform.
The final aim of the strategy developed by Liège Port
Authority is to increasingly position the Port of Liège as an
inland port situated in the natural hinterland of Antwerp,
Zeebrugge, Rotterdam and Dunkirk so that Liège is more than
ever an essential location from the European river logistics point
of view.
Terval — ideally located in the Port of Liège
Terval is active in the coal industry and is ideally located in the
Port of Liège, along the Albert Canal, 100km inland from the
ARA (Amsterdam–Rotterdam–
Antwerp) ports.
Terval has regular arrivals of South
African, Russian and South American
Terval imports/sells about one million
tonnes of coal annually via the Liège
In addition to the volume in Liège,
Terval France SARL, the subsidiary
company in France, is active in the
main French sea ports (Bordeaux, Le
Havre and Montoir).
Terval’s main marketing areas are:
Belgium, Germany, France,
Netherlands and Switzerland.
Terval is able to receive barges up to a capacity of 4,500 tonnes
and has a charging/discharging capacity of 15,000
tonnes per day.
The terminal size on which Terval operates is 14ha.
The open storage capacity is up to 500,000 tonnes
and the hangars offer a covered storage capacity of
The port of Liège is spread all along the Maas and
the Albert Canal. Terval is one of the biggest players
in the annual tonnage passing by Liège and is the only
one active in coal.
The Albert canal offers big logistical advantages:
there is no problem of high or low water.
Thanks to its ideal location (Albert Canal, highways
and railways network), the coal can be delivered by
barge, truck or train.

Terval operates five screening/crushing installations
and a homogenizing installation.
A dense medium washing plant with a capacity of 120 tonnes
per hour produces 2,000 tonnes per day with an integrated
screening for six sizes.
The level of reinvestment is very high and all
installations are up to the most modern standards.
An additional hangar will be built shortly in order
to satisfy the increasing demand for covered storage.
Terval has also invested in a second weighbridge
to reduce the loading time for trucks to less than 30
Terval operates a fully equipped laboratory to
guarantee the qualities produced and delivered to all
customers. All incoming and outgoing goods are
carefully checked.

The main focused markets are the industrial
customers, such as cement, paper, sugar and
steelworks, as well as power stations.
Port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire optimistic about 2010
In 2009, the Port of Nantes handled 8.9mt (million tonnes) of
dry bulk, approximately 1% less than the previous year, although
total traffic at the port on the year was down by 11%.
Department commercial manager Laurent Buvry explains that
had a local cane sugar refinery not closed down in June, with the
loss of 150,000 tonnes of annual traffic, the dry bulk figure
would have been much better. However, the main reason for the
decline was the whopping 60% reduction in imported fertilizer.
“The market price of wheat and corn in 2009 was so low
that many farmers could simply not afford to use fertilizer in
their fields. Nitrate-based fertilizer was hardly used at all, while
only minimum amounts of phosphate were applied to ensure
some sort of crop would be harvested,” Buvry relates.
The picture for 2010 is better, with suggestions that dry bulk
volumes may well rise 4–5%. Cereals, in particular, are having a
good year, with traffic to date up at least 10%, but the crisis in
Russia and the Ukraine may well mean that there will be an even
bigger percentage growth by the end of the year. Fertilizer
volumes have also begun to recover. Buvry reports healthy
trade in scrap, while a revitalized regional construction industry
is the main driver behind improving aggregates and cement
Coal remains the largest single commodity
handled. In this, Nantes is unusual in being
located close to one of France’s few remaining
coal-fired power stations; the majority of
domestically generated electricity comes from
nuclear installations. The extremely tough winter
of 2009-2010 also meant that electricity output
was much higher than usual, resulting in 2.2mt of
coal passing through the coal terminal at Montoir,
imported from Australia, Poland, Russia, South
Africa and the US.
Grain seeds continue to make a sufficient
contribution to Nantes’ dry bulk volumes, too.
Although soya meal from Brazil and Argentina, at
1.6mt in 2010, was slightly down, once other
seeds, such as rapeseed, palm and sunflower, are
brought into the equation, the final figure of 2mt
remains impressive.
“Soya meal was expensive, so imports
dropped off. It is used locally to make animal
feedstuffs, but the quantity we handle is a
function of price, so last year we imported
less. Rapeseed passes mainly through the bulk
terminal in Montoir, where there is an
adjacent crushing plant owned by Cargill. The
same company has a similar facility for
sunflowers in Saint-Nazaire,” says Buvry.
Export cereals (wheat, barley and corn),
accounted for 1.3mt. These pass through
facilities at Nantes Saint-Nazaire, which is now
France’s third most important port for this
commodity behind Rouen and La Rochelle,
but ahead of Dunkirk and Bordeaux. Long
term growth is predicted because of rising
global demand for wheat and barley. Exports
go mainly to Spain and Portugal, but also to
North Africa, the West African Coast and the
Near East.
Since cereals show no signs of slowing in
growth, a new silo project — the first for 15 years — is taking
shape. Nantes is particularly well placed to serve France’s largest
cereals producing region, much of whose output can easily be
shipped into the port by rail, given a good network connection.
The port additionally acts as a discharge point for
sea-dredged aggregates, mostly sand, amounting to 2mt. This
traffic is state-regulated, although incumbent producers are now
actively seeking permission to dredge extra tonnage to supply
the recovering construction industry.
Cement traffic is also expected to take off in the near future.
There used to be a cement terminal in the port, which was
managed by an independent company. This was taken over by
Holcim in March and exports are now expected to increase,
since the Swiss giant has no production facility of its own in
western France.
In terms of future capacity, there is enough handling area to
accommodate future demand, but it is accepted that investment
will have to be made in new equipment. The proposed new
Rennes–Le Mans TGV (trains à grand vitesse — high-speed) rail
line, for example, will require at least 2mt of materials, which will
stretch existing equipment availability at the port to the limit
Scrap is another commodity of growing importance to
Nantes. Last year, volumes grew 30% to 348,000 tonnes. At the
end of July 2010, Buvry reports a further rise of 20%.
“We have two major metal crushing plants, one located in
Nantes and the other at Montoir. Within five years, we anticipate
handling 500,000–600,000 tonnes annually. Initially, exports went
to Spain, then Italy, and now Turkey which is the major importer
of scrap in Europe. The crushing plants have however signed
recent contracts with India and China,” he reports.
As of January 2011, major changes are to take place in the
management of dry bulk operations at the port, as reforms
implemented as part of changes to existing legislation has
effectively seen the port missions evolve. Further to the French
Ports Reform, the Port Authority is charged with managing the
operation and maintenance of maritime accesses, policing, safety
and security, port property development, nature conservation,
the construction and maintenance of infrastructures, the
development of industrial and logistical activity zones, as well as
port promotion. Terminal operations pass to new private sector
companies. Port authority equipment and workers will
therefore be acquired by these new operators.
Montoir Coal Terminal will be managed by a joint venture
consisting of EDF and Sea-Invest, while operations at the nearby
Multi-Bulk Terminal will be divided between two stevedoring
groups. One of the four berths will be managed by EDCM for
the account of the cement producer Holcim and agribulk
specialists Sonastock, while the remaining three will have a new
operator: Montoir Bulk Terminal, which is itself a joint venture
between Sea-Invest and local stevedore MTTM.
Both new operators have agreed to buy existing port
authority equipment, but an agreed investment plan will also see
some older cranes replaced and new equipment brought in to
handle potential new traffic flows. Fifty kilometres upriver from
Montoir, dry bulk handling at Nantes will also be split. Currently,
no final decision has yet been made on who will operate
facilities on the south bank of the Loire river, although Sonastock
has already secured the concession for the north bank, which is
the location of the port’s largest grain silo.
Saint-Nazaire terminals, which are also administered by the
port authority, actually falls outside the new legislation. Here,
some 250,000 tonnes of sunflower and wheat are handled
Brest Dry Bulk Terminal — at the heart of the Atlantic arc
Located at the crossroads of numerous
north-south and east-west sea routes,
the port of Brest has remarkable
nautical qualities and high performing
facilities. The port’s strategic position
makes Brest an ideal choice in the
heart of the Atlantic Arc. The port is a
gateway to France, Europe and a
connection to ongoing worldwide
Brest it is also a port, which serves
Europe’s number one food industrial
area. A founder member of the
Association of Ports of the Atlantic Arc
(APAA), Brest is an ideal port for
transshipment in the case of the
development of inter-European sea
links and trans-European transport
  •   4 berths from 175m to 300m length;
  •   draught from – 6m to – 13m;
  •   storage capacities: 160,000 tonnes (7 warehouses + 8 vertical silos);
  •   9 cranes;
  •   3 conveyors belts (2,000tph [tonnes per hour] capacity);
  •   rail connections; and
  •   loading/unloading rail/road station (3,000 tonnes per day).
  •   grains and agro bulks (imported from South America, USA and Europe);
  •   animal feeding;
  •   cement;
  •   gypsum;
  •   aggregates;
  •   steel products (metal scraps);
  •   wood;
  •   bagged cargo;
  •   sand;
  •   fertilizers; and
  •   phosphates
The terminal is enclosed, guarded 24/24H and controlled by
video-surveillance ; ISPS approved ; ISO 9001-2000.
  •   agro bulks: 988,400 tonnes
  •   oils/molasses: 152,300 tonnes
  •   cement: 45,400 tonnes
  •   sand/aggregates: 212,300 tonnes
  •   steel products/metal scraps: 100,000 tonnes
  •   others: 34,000 tonnes
 Antwerp Port Authority — when the going gets tough, the tough get going
Last year, the Port of Antwerp was very proud to receive the
prestigious IBJ-award for ‘Best Dry Bulk Port 2009’. Especially
in a year which will be long remembered as a landmark year
on account of the global recession, Antwerp stood its ground
and was able to limit the disastrous impact of sharply
declining volumes. This year, Antwerp was rewarded the
Lloyd’s List Award for ‘Best Port Operator 2010’. This
emphasizes not only the dynamism of the port, but also
demonstrates how closely all players inside the port
community work together for one single goal.
Antwerp, like its competitors, reported a significant loss of
dry bulk volumes in 2009, mainly in major bulk (iron ore and
coal) due to a massive and never before seen idling of
European steel mills. In minor bulk, it was the fertilizer
business which suffered the most.
However, the Port of Antwerp resolutely
stayed on the offensive by taking a number of
strategic decisions, enabling not only to
secure restoration of volumes, but even allow
for future growth:
First, an agreement for deepening of the River Scheldt was
reached between Belgian and Dutch authorities, making it
possible for it to be accessed by the largest type of vessels.
Antwerp is happy to be able to announce that these works will
be finalized before year’s end, but already allows the bulk of
positive impact to be realized as from mid-2010. Furthermore,
on the pretext ‘Never waste a good crisis’, a joint project called
‘Total Plan for a competitive port’ was set up between private sector
and port. It resulted, among others, in the re-engineering of the raw
materials supply chain of major bulk and guarantees that Antwerp will
remain a viable alternative in the ARA-range for full Capesize vessels
in years to come.
Secondly, within the port, ongoing investments in both infra- and
superstructure will secure Antwerp’s competitiveness: a principal green
light for a second lock to the Leftbank area had already been given by
the Flemish authorities before summer recess, but only a couple
of weeks ago, the board approved a long-term financial plan of
no less than €1.6 billion to be invested in the coming 15 years,
while at the same time it decided to freeze port dues for 2011
to the level of 2010. On top of that, several private operators
continue to invest in renewal and/or expansion of their
terminals. An excellent example of the latter is malt-producer
Boortmalt which earlier this year finalized an important
investment programme in additional production and storage
capacity in the Port of Antwerp, and now secures close to 50%
of export of the total European malt production through the
Port of Antwerp. Moreover, special attention has
been paid to reduce fine dust emissions during
bulk-handling, by moving sensitive volumes from
open to covered areas, or increasing use of dust
control sprinkling systems. But initiatives are not
limited to the ‘hardware’ alone: specific training
programmes will ensure that Antwerp’s highly
reputed labour-force will keep their leading edge in
specialized and safe dry bulk-material handling.
Last but not least, no effort has been spared to
expand Antwerp’s hinterland by improving accessibility by rail,
road, barge and short-sea at highly competitive prices and even
participating/co-investing in hinterland hubs. Antwerp is
confident that its excellent central inland location will
increasingly prove its worth during the next decades: it goes
without saying that, with a justified demand for sustainability
from both community and business, the eco-friendly nature
of a river port compared with an Ocean port becomes an
important trump card.
The Port of Antwerp strongly believes that the recent global
crisis, which basically forced all industries to rethink their supply
chains and focus on cost-control, strict cash-flow-management and
flexibility to match supply with demand, will create opportunities
on a longer term basis. No longer is a port considered a mere
transfer-point of cargo, it has become a vital link within complex
supply chains: those ports that can best meet the crying needs of
shippers by offering complete supply chain solutions, will
undoubtedly be the ports of the future.
Especially in the dry bulk domain, the Port of Antwerp,
together with its stakeholders, is committed to offering such
solutions: its continuous investments in state of the art
infrastructure and people, together with a firm and permanent
embedment in both fore- and hinterland, are the best guarantees
for a sustainable, bright future.

Belgium-based E-Crane Worldwide has customers all over the globe
E-Crane Worldwide is a Belgium-based engineering and
manufacturing company, with subsidiary companies in The
Netherlands (E-Crane International Europe) and the USA
(E-Crane International USA) to support its worldwide clientele.
E-Crane Worldwide offers custom made material handling
solutions, with the E-Crane balance crane as core product.
In the offices and workshop of Indusign NV/E-Crane
Worldwide in Adegem, Belgium, each project is designed,
engineered and pre-assembled for testing. E-Crane engineers
from Belgium or the US also travel abroad to clients’ sites
everywhere in the world for the assembly, testing and tuning,
training of the crane operators and maintenance staff and for
service purposes.
The year 2009-2010 was a busy one, with lots of major
projects being successfully finished in the US, but also some
interesting European projects. Amongst these projects:
A revolutionary E-Dredger® was installed for Herbosch-Kiere
(part of the Eiffage Group) in Belgium. The 1500B Series, Model
10290 E-Dredger® can reach 29 metres and lift 15 tonnes, going
to a dredging depth of 18 metres. After some port maintenance
work in the Port of Rotterdam, the E-Dredger® is now active in
the Port of Ostend (Belgium) placing stones with utmost
precision to build a breakwater for port protection.
The E-Dredger® offers a ‘green’ alternative: the unique
balanced counterweight design saves energy and provides
smooth, efficient operation on only 225kW (300hp). The
automatic ‘Superlift’ mode helps reduce the need to discharge
material from an overloaded grab when exiting the water, thus
eliminating spillage of potentially contaminated silt.
The accuracy of placement is also a big advantage for the
modified 3000 Series E-Crane® that has started work recently
for the construction of the hard part of the seawall being built
for the expansion of a port in The Netherlands. This land-based
giant can at one go lift 50 tonnes and stretch up to 60 metres
from the center of the crawler lower to place approximately
20,000 concrete blocks weighing 40 tonnes each within a margin
of no more than 15cm accuracy.

A 2000 Series, Model 21382 GA-E E-Crane® with a lifting
capacity of 30 metric tonnes in grab mode, a reach of 38 metres
and fitted with a 12m3 grab is the third successful installation of
an E-Crane® for scrap processing company Van Heyghen
Recycling, that is part of the group Galloo Recycling. At this
time, no less than 7 E-Crane balanced cranes are operational at
different Galloo sites in Belgium and France. With this
installation, the cycle is finally complete: in every stage of the
scrap handling process, an E-Crane® is now involved. E-Cranes
of different series and models are now active on the several
Galloo sites, offloading the trucks with incoming scrap, feeding
the shredders, loading the river ships, offloading these at the
receiving quay, stockpiling in the scrap yard and loading oceangoing
Handymax ships that bring the scrap to their final
destination overseas. Like the Turkish steel mills of IÇDAS and
Çolakoglu, where again E-Cranes are offloading the scrap and
loading it into the scrap baskets that bring it to the steel mill’s
melting shops.
A 2000 Series E-Crane® is being installed in the Port of Kokkola,
Finland at the time of writing and will be operational by the end
of October 2010.
The Port of Kokkola’s favourable location in mid/west Finland
makes it a very well-known harbour with good connections to
other parts of Finland, both by road and rail. The port also
offers a direct railway connection to Russia.
The Port of Kokkola harbours the largest European ‘all
weather terminal’ (AWT) which assures that ships can be loaded
or unloaded regardless of weather conditions. The Port of
Kokkola ‘deep port’ has a depth of 13 metres and a quay length
of 1,000m, and can load or unload ships up to Panamax size
(80,000dwt), using four 40 tonnes cranes.
After extending the “Deep
Port” quay, it was decided to
purchase a new E-Crane® Model
17359 GA-E to increase the
port’s loading and unloading
The main reason for choosing
this type of crane is the fact that
this hydraulic balanced crane can
operate with utmost precision
plus the high transloading
capacity. Capacities of
700–1,000 tonnes per hour can
be reached. Undoubtedly, the
low energy consumption of this
machine played a part in making
this choice.
The E-Crane® with reach of
36 metres and a capacity in grab
mode of 21 tonnes will be
placed on existing rails and used
mainly for the handling of iron
ore, zinc concentrate and coal.
For each commodity, E-Crane®
supplied an appropriate grab of
respectively 13m3, 7,5m3 and 6m3.
The crane is also equipped with a grab rotator and quick change
device enabling the client to quickly and efficiently switch
between grabs and commodities, a big improvement compared
to the current cable cranes.
The first E-Crane® for the IÇDAS steel production company in
Istanbul, Turkey was a crawler
mounted 1500B Series, Model
9317B CR-D E-Crane®. Installed
in 2008, it is specially adapted for
work in the extremely harsh and
dusty environment of the steel
mill’s harbour and scrap yard.
One year later, end 2009, a second
identical E-Crane® on high gantry
was successfully taken into service,
to help unload the Handymax
ships into the provided dump
containers. In 2010 the contract
was signed for a third E-Crane®
for IÇDAS, this time a 3000 Series,
Model 26748 PD-E E-Crane® for
the loading of scrap from ground
level into heavy transporters
waiting on a quay that is situated
36m above the ground level of the
scrap yard. To accomplish this, the
giant E-Crane® will have a column
of over 32 metres high, and a
lengthy boom plus stick resulting
in a reach of up to 48 metres,
benefiting from the renowned
E-Crane equilibrium principle that ensures perfect balance
throughout the crane’s entire working range.
Busy time for Belgian equipment manufacturer
As reported in DCI over the course of this year, bulk handling
giant VIGAN remains very busy with a range of projects.
In our January 2010 issue, we gave details of VIGAN’s sale
of one 400tph (metric tonnes per hour) pneumatic CSU
(continuous ship unloader) and one 400tph mechanical loader
for a customer in the port of Sète in France (deliveries set to
take place in 2011), as well as orders for mobile equipment
for the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and France, as well as special
on-quay hoppers with weighing and bagging systems for
In our May 2010 issue (pp37–39), particular attention was
paid to VIGAN’s pneumatic expertise when unloading wood
pellets at Electrabel’s power plant in Gelderland (Nijmegen,
The Netherlands).
In our April 2010 issue, we gave details of some of the
company’s recent activities, including the commissioning of a
SIMPORTER unit (twin belt technology) in South Korea, as
well as a the award of a contract to supply a large pneumatic
unloader for the Port of Santa Marta in Colombia.
We have just learned from VIGAN that work on the Santa
Marta unloading is ongoing and the machine (see drawing
above, right) will be delivered at the beginning of next year.
VIGAN is also currently finalizing the commissioning of its
project in Pakistan. Such a complex project involves several
local and international suppliers. There are therefore some
co-ordination difficulties and specific local circumstances that
must be taken into account. Nevertheless, the work is mostly
going to schedule.
Also under way — and almost complete — is the
manufacture of a 600tph (metric tonnes per hour) shiploader
for the BUNGE group in Poland. This unit is set for delivery
shortly, before the end of this year. The drawing on the right
shows this unit.
VIGAN is in the process of finalizing contracts for projects
in countries including Bangladesh, Taiwan and South Korea.
Negotiations are also ongoing in several other regions.
In 2010, VIGAN has increased its factory space by building
an additional 50x20m2 main hall close to the existing one (see
picture below). Over the past two years, it has also added
several qualified staff to its engineering staff.
SEA-invest, Belgium, describes operations at various bulk terminals in Belgium
and France
The handling of various bulk and liquid cargoes is carried out by
a range of companies within the SEA-invest Group, one of the
largest independent stevedoring companies in Western Europe.
SEA-invest, a Belgian, privately owned company, owns a range
of bulk terminals in Belgium and France.

Ghent Coal Terminal specializes in the handling, storage and
processing of approximately 4mt (million metric tonnes) of solid
fuels such as coal, petcoke and biomass.
As well as handling and storage of solid fuels, the terminal
also carries out dry and wet screening, washing, drying, crushing
and blending of all solid fuels. Drying of solid fuels is carried out
through a mechanical drying installation or naturally in a 5,000m2
dedicated warehouse.
Compagnie Belge de Manutention
(CBM) handles and stores bulk
commodities such as solid fuels,
minerals, scrap at various quays in
the port of Ghent.
As many of these commodities
need to be stored moisture free,
CBM operates a total of 130,000m3
of metallic silos in addition to
60,000m2 of warehouses.
Operates screening and crushing
installations for calcined petcoke
and a cement terminal.
ABT operates four terminals in
Antwerp all specializing in the
handling of dry bulk commodities.
ABT’s terminal at Delwaidedock
is the largest terminal for the
handling of solid fuels and iron ore,
capable of discharging at a rate of 70,000 metric tonnes per 24
hours. The latest development is the terminal at the 6th
Harbourdock where it has built several warehouses and a tank
farm for the handling of minerals. New covered storage at the
Leopolddock is under construction.
ABT has become a diversified stevedoring company, capable
of handling every type of bulk cargo in optimal conditions. The
company is also investing in packing and storage of packed
cargoes, which are linked to existing and new bulk traffic.
SEA-invest also operates its own railway company, named
SEA-rail. This is a joint venture with the Belgian Railroad
(SNCB). It operates more than 350 bulk wagons of different
types between its terminals and end-users.
In France, the group operates in many ports and handles a wide
variety of bulk commodities.
SEA-invest operates four terminals in Dunkirk and handles a
wide range of bulk products.
The Western Bulk Terminal handles and stores steam coal,
iron ore, petcoke, manganese and other raw materials for steel
industry. It offers a storage capacity of 2mt (million tonnes) (50%
iron ore 50% coal) and an average discharging rate of 30 tonnes
per 24 hours for coal or 40 tonnes per 24 hours for iron ore.
SEA-invest operates three other terminals on the east side of
the port where various products such as ferro alloys, scraps, slag,
salt and clinker are handled and stored. Through Grande Synthe
terminal, Freycinet 11 terminal and Multivracs terminal, SEAinvest
offers a 300,000 metric tonne storage capacity. The multibulk terminal quay length will be doubled in 2011 to
provide a 500m of length and a storage capacity of 200,000
metric tonnes.
Commodities handled at the terminal are coal, fertilizers, slags,
pellets, rapeseed. SEA-invest Rouen provides a 450,000 metric
tonne storage capacity for coal. The company operates several
warehouses (30,000m² in total) especially designed for handling
bulk cargoes. The terminal also provides its clients with a shed
of 10ha especially designed for coal crushing and sieving
installation, a bulk blending installation for fertilizers and a big
bag bagging installation for fertilizers
Coal terminal
Montoir coal terminal handles 2mt per year of steam coal with a
storage capacity of 800,000 tonnes.
Multivracs (multi-bulk) Terminal
This terminal handles 1.2mt of coal, agri-bulk, food-stuff for
animals, cement, fertilizers. SEA-invest provides several
warehouses with a global storage capacity of 250,000 tonnes and
200,000 tonnes of outdoor storage.
SEA-invest Bordeaux is a diversified stevedoring company,
capable of handling every type of bulk cargoes. It handles coal,
agri-bulk, cement, fertilizers. With its 85,000m² of warehouses
and packing equipments, SEA-invest Bordeaux handles 2.5mt per
SEA-invest handles 1mt per year of fertilizer, agri-bulk, wood
pulp and coal with a storage capacity of 300,000 tonnes. The
company is able to provide bagging capacities for fertilizers.
From November 2010 on, warehouses dedicated to fertilizers
will be directly connected to quays with a system of conveyor
SEA-invest Caronte is a diversified stevedoring company handling
fertilizers, scraps, agri-bulk, ores. It handles 1mt per year and has
several storage capacities: 10,000m2 silos, 11,500m2 warehouses,
16,000m² platform. Its position gives an ideal connection with
the Rhone for barges up to 3,000m3.
Carfos handles 3mt per year of steam coal, petcoke, bauxite,
With 55ha mostly dedicated to storage areas with 22ha
linked with conveyor belts and stackers Carfos delivers 1mt of
storage capacity.