The successful transportation and installation on Berth 2 of a
new 51-metre-high shiploader at the Abbot Point Coal Terminal
in Queensland, Australia, represents an important milestone in
the terminal’s X50 expansion.
Once completed, the X50 expansion will more than double
the export capacity of Abbot Point Coal Terminal and
significantly increase Queensland’s export capacity.
Hugh McKay from engineering consultant Aurecon Hatch
said, “Delivery of the shiploader probably represented the
highest risk activity in the entire terminal expansion.
“In order to pass under the Gateway Bridge, departure had
to take place on a low tide where the resulting 1.5 metre
clearance was sufficient to safely manoeuvre the shiploader
under the bridge” said McKay
Aurecon Hatch provided engineering design, procurement
and construction assistance to North Queensland Bulk Ports
Corporation (NQBP) for this expansion project which will
increase the coal export capacity at Abbot Point to 50mtpa
(million tonnes per annum). The expansion involves the
construction of additional stockyards, four new stacker/reclaimer
machines, duplication of outloading facilities and a second berth
and shiploader located 2.9km off-shore.
The shiploader was constructed by John Holland in Brisbane,
upstream from the Gateway Bridge.
This presented a number of logistical challenges as the loaded
ship had to pass downstream under the bridge for delivery to
the site. The heavy lift ship, Happy Buccaneer, was used to
transport the shiploader to Abbot Point.
Before departure, the boom needed to be lowered to
approximately 25° to reduce the overall height of the shiploader.
Immediately after passing under the bridge, Aurecon Hatch
engineers were responsible for luffing the boom to its vertical
position and securing it for transit.
After a two day transit, the Happy Buccaneer berthed at
Abbot Point adjacent to the new Berth 2 strongpoint. Four sets
of bogies and equalizer beams were offloaded, aligned and
surveyed first, providing a stable base for the shiploader. The
shiploader unloading was postponed by one day due to ship
movements resulting from a heavy swell and successfully
accomplished without incident on 3 March 2010.
Aurecon Hatch is one of the largest suppliers of consulting
services for infrastructure to the coal industry, from pit to port.
Aurecon Hatch (formerly Connell Hatch) is one of the largest
suppliers of consulting services focused on servicing the export
infrastructure needs of Australia’s coal, seaboard bulk materials
and heavy haul rail markets.
Aurecon Hatch is a joint venture between leading
management and engineering consultancy companies Aurecon
and Hatch. Its clients benefit from the combined expertise of
these two major firms, each with years of experience in
engineering and project management.
Aurecon Hatch undertook the complete design of the
shiploader. Additional services were provided assisting with the
engineering aspects of the lifting mechanism for loading and
unloading the shiploader for sea transit, including determining
the critical centre of mass, the design of crane lifting lugs and
checking the shiploader structure for loads induced during sea
Aurecon Hatch’s A-frame long travelling luffing shiploader was
originally developed by parent company Aurecon more than 30
years ago. The latest design incorporates increased safety
features including improved access and maintainability. The
shiploader is fitted with sophisticated anticollision
sensing devices to minimize the risk of impact with any vessels during
Aurecon Hatch has provided engineering design, procurement and construction
assistance for the X50 Expansion and is also solely responsible for all control system
software. Feasibility studies and preliminary engineering for proposed expansions of the
terminal to 110mtpa were also undertaken by Aurecon Hatch, including interfacing with
a new multi-cargo facility adjacent to the existing terminal. These services follow the
provision of engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services
provided to North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation for the X21 and X25
expansion projects.