Transloading means ports can handle bigger bulkers
Floating transloading terminals outside dry bulk loading and
discharging ports offer an efficient and cost-effective alternative
to dredging, and their benefits include great flexibility, scalability
and low environmental impact.
While large vessels represent the most cost-effective means
of transporting bulk cargoes across the globe, the very size of
the most efficient bulk carriers can present problems of access
to some ports. In practice, this means that the size of bulkers
that can be used on a specific route is often limited by draught
constraints in the loading and/or discharging port.
Historically, problems of this nature could be addressed by
simply employing smaller vessels or by not loading a ship down
to its marks, and accepting the associated increased
transportation costs. The other option was dredging work,
where appropriate, to allow larger vessels to berth. However,
dredging is an expensive and ongoing process and in some cases
the loading or unloading berth and its bulk cargo handling
machinery will require upgrading to accommodate the larger,
deeper draught vessels.
While such investment and associated running costs may be
considered worthwhile, offshore dry bulk cargo transshipment
presents an alternative approach to the problem, to some extent
mirroring older practices employed to discharge general cargo
vessels into lighters in the absence of adequate port facilities.
Jonas Johansson, Cargotec’s sales manager for transfer
terminals says: “Cargotec has a great deal of experience in
providing bulk cargo transshipment solutions, but until relatively
recently these generally involved the retrofitting of suitable grab
cranes to an existing vessel. It could then be employed to partdischarge
larger vessels until their draught was sufficiently
reduced to allow them to enter the unloading port.
The geared lightening vessel then also entered port for
discharge of the transshipped cargo, possibly using its own cargo
handling gear. “A similar process can also be applied at loading
ports, and over the years the size of vessels so modified for
transshipment purposes has progressively increased.” As an
example Cargotec received an order from the Venezuelan
shipping and logistics specialist Cargoport for a material handling
system for installation on the existing 135,160dwt Panamax bulk
carrier Nobel Snapper. Equipment supplied includes a selfdischarging
gravity system to reclaim discharge material from her
own cargo holds, four K3028-4 heavy-duty cranes with eccentric
platforms, foundations and grabs for reclaiming transferring
material from feedering vessels, and a deck conveyor system
including a travelling shiploader for loading the ocean going
vessels. This equipment was part of a package to convert the
vessel into a transloading station for operations at the mouth of
the Orinoco River, where draught restrictions and low water
levels restrict access to key ports.
“While such ship-based solutions are undoubtedly effective, a
bespoke purpose-built, floating transloading terminal from
Cargotec now offers the most cost-effective and flexible
approach available,” Johansson says. “Moreover, there are some
important secondary advantages.
“All transloading terminals are tailor-made to fit a customer’s
specific purpose. Considering the case of a loading port, a
floating offshore transfer terminal will typically be equipped with
a bulk-handling system incorporating a number of deck hoppers,
into which cargo is transferred from the shuttle vessels, which
may well be large towed barges. From there, the cargo is
transported on a belt conveyor system to a slewing, hoisting and
travelling boom conveyor for loading into the cargo holds of the
ocean-going bulk carrier. Alternatively the cargo may be loaded
into the terminal if it is provided with its own cargo holding
“Clearly this is just one of many possible scenarios, and the
diversity of the bulk cargo handling machinery in the Cargotec
catalogue means that we offer a wide range of machinery
permutations to specifically address almost any floating
transloading terminal requirements.
“When a non-continuous system is employed at the loading
port’s transloading terminal, grab cranes are used to unload the
feeder vessels to the hoppers on deck, and also to transfer
materials to the hoppers from the terminal’s cargo holds if it has
any. The deck hoppers feed a deck conveyor system that
transfers the material to the shiploader and so on to the oceangoing
“The greatest benefits are delivered by a continuous system.
Not only does this arrangement have the potential to deliver
very high cargo transshipment rates, but it is also the most
environmentally friendly solution, because when the conveyor
system and the shiploader are totally enclosed, it results in much
reduced dust emissions”.
For a transloading terminal at a discharge port, Cargotec has
designed many different types of boom conveyors for unloading
cargo to a vessel or ashore. Furthermore, the shiploader could
be fitted on a moveable gantry, providing the facility to load a
Capesize vessel without any need to warp the vessel along the
floating terminal.
Dust levels can be reduced during transloading by installing
water spray nozzles in the discharge chutes between conveyors
and in unloading points. Dust collectors are also used to
minimize dust leakage from the cover joints. These function by
applying suction to critical points in the conveyor system to
create a negative pressure. The dust-laden air then passes
through filters from which the dust is automatically removed
either by compressed air or by mechanical agitation. “These
measures result in both a clean ship and a clean terminal and
surrounding area,” Johansson says. Wider environmental benefits
also result from the fuel economies and associated reduced
emissions delivered by the use of larger vessels for the ocean
phase of bulk cargo carriage.
“This sort of flexible solution can
increase the capacity in a port without the
need for any new developments in the port
area, while any future demand for
increased port capacity can very easily be
met by deploying additional offshore
terminals and barges,” Johansson says. “The
high cargo handling capacity of the system
cuts time spent in port, a great benefit
appreciated by charterers and those
concerned with the local environment.
Furthermore, should the need for a floating
terminal cease at the port for which it was
originally intended, it can easily be moved
to support a similar venture at another
Johansson highlighted a case study as an
example: when one of Australia’s largest
steel producers, OneSteel Ltd, wanted to
increase its iron ore export capacity at
Whyalla in South Australia, it had to
address the problem of draught
restrictions at the loading quay. With rising
freight rates it was considered necessary
to be able to use larger vessels of up to
180,000dwt. Dredging a deeper channel
into the existing export terminal was
considered to be too expensive, and a
floating offshore transfer terminal was
identified as the best solution.
The arrangement finally selected
comprises two 10,000dwt self-unloading barges (SUB) and
Spencer Gulf, a floating offshore transfer barge. The two SUBs
operate a shuttle service, transferring iron ore from the existing
export quay to Spencer Gulf, which then transfers the ore into
the ocean-going export vessel. Cargotec received orders for the
self-unloader equipment in May 2005. The new system went live
in 2007 and continues in successful operation.
The two SUBs, Barnagarla and Middleback, are of a flat top
design, each equipped with a MacGregor gravity type self
unloading system including a large deck hopper which is loaded
from the shoreside loading facility. Unloading at Spencer Gulf is
achieved initially by gravity flow when the hydraulically operated
basket gates are opened in the bottom of the barge, feeding the
cargo to the longitudinal conveyor belt.
From the longitudinal conveyor belt the cargo is fed to a
slewing and hoisting boom conveyor for transfer to the receiving
hopper on Spencer Gulf. From this hopper, the cargo is conveyed
on two inclined belt conveyors onto a 39m retractable boom
conveyor reaching into the export vessel.
The loading procedure starts with Spencer Gulf being towed
out to the open sea and moored alongside an arriving Capesize
bulk carrier. At the same time the first shuttle barge loaded with
iron ore is also towed out and moored alongside Spencer Gulf.
Cargo is transferred from the shuttle barge on to the transfer
terminal and then on to the Capesize vessel at a rate of 5,000
tonnes per hour. With two alternating shuttle barges, one
loading ashore while the other is unloading offshore, a fast and
efficient cargo transfer operation is achieved.
The entire offshore cargo operation, from the SUB, via the
floating terminal and into the Capesize vessel, can be handled by
one operator. This is achieved by the use of state-of-the-art
electrical control systems and video monitoring systems.
Kingfisher specializes in the protection of process plants and equipment
A bulk material import terminal based in the UK suffered from
premature equipment failure on an unloading and conveying
The system was initially protected with chrome carbide hardfaced
weld deposit overlay, which achieved a minimal service life
of 9 to 12 months.
Kingfisher-Industrial designed, manufactured and installed a
replacement system using K-ALOX, a high alumina ceramic lining
system with an excellent rating for resistance to all forms of
abrasion and plays a vital part in protecting plant when bulk
solids or by-products are conveyed or processed by mechanical,
pneumatic or hydraulic means. This system is ideal for use on
self-unloading vessels.
Sub-bituminous coal with lumps up to 100mm and a bulk
density of 0.80tpcm is conveyed at 5,500tph (tonnes per hour)
with peak though-puts of up to 1,000,000 tonnes per month.
Fig. 1 indicates the significant wear on the impact baffle lined
with the chrome carbide hard-faced weld deposit overlay.
Fig. 2 is the impact baffle lined with K-ALOX with no
indication of wear present after a through-put in excess of
4,000,000 tonnes.
The material conveying system lined with K-ALOX has a
rating of 9 on the MOHS hardness scale and able to withstand
operating temperatures in excess of 1,000° Celsius.
K-ALOX is ideally suited to counter both impact and sliding
abrasion and erosion within pipes, cyclones, chutes, mixers, mills,
separators and conveying systems and many others applications
within the bulk solids handling industrial.
Failures started to occur four years ago and Kingfisher-
Industrial started installing replacement systems in various areas
as equipment failures occurred.
The replacement project was more responsive to
areas of plant failure, however as the client has
seen the benefit of using K-ALOX, all wear areas have
now been prioritized and the installation of wear protect
systems provided by Kingfisher-Industrial continues.
The proven system was designed and installed by the
company’s own trained site engineers and offers a
minimum of 10 years’ service without the need for any
interim maintenance.
In offering a solution driven concept to counter
the effects of handling and processing bulk solid material
and by utilizing its expertise in the design, manufacture,
protection and installation of process plant and equipment,
Kingfisher-Industrial adds a significant return on
investment achieving stakeholder satisfaction. With ever-increasing performance
targets on efficiency, safety and environmental compliance, it is
imperative that plant operators and engineers utilize best
practice in ensuring these aims are achieved. Working with
strategically chosen partners, Kingfisher-Industrial offers a
complete range of technically advanced materials to maximize
the potential benefits of implementing industry proven system
enhancements – a full turnkey solution.
New premises: in October 2009 Kingfisher-Industrial moved
to a new purpose built 35,000ft3 factory in the West Midlands,
UK. Industry-related seminar days are planned for 2010,
including a tour of the new facilities.
CSL to transship 8 million tonnes per year in single project
Pointe-Noire, QC: The largest dry bulk transshipment operation
in Canada is currently taking place in the bay off this
community on Quebec’s north shore, and Canada Steamship
Lines’ (CSL) Atlantic Superior is in the middle of it — literally.
The Handysize self-unloader runs around the clock from
customer Consolidated Thompson’s dock, shuttling iron
ore concentrate to Capesize vessels anchored a nautical mile
away. The Atlantic Superior completes a load-discharge cycle
every 24–28 hours, delivering 30,000 tonnes of export ore
each time; the crew uses the ship’s remote-control unloading
boom to trim the load. It takes six trips to load a
Capesize vessel.
“While CSL has become synonymous with specialized
cargo handling, including pioneering transshipments in the
1980s, the sheer size of this operation is noteworthy,” said
CSL’s vice-president of marketing, Tom Brodeur. “The
Atlantic Superior will make more trips in a month than
most vessels make in a year.”
The first Cape was loaded in late June, and now, a
million tonnes into the project, ship and crew have settled
into a rhythm necessary to meet the demanding schedule.
“The transshipment target is for eight million tonnes a
year,” said Brodeur. “That’s a demanding number by any
measure. Fortunately, we have the crew and the knowhow
to meet the customer’s objective.”
Tailor-made FTS by Coeclerici guarantees
future expansion for PT Berau Coal
Indonesian coal production has increased in recent years,
currently making the country the world’s largest exporter of
thermal coal, writes Capt. Giordano Scotto d’Aniello, Head of
Commercial Department, Coeclerici Logistics, Milan, Italy.
Demand is expected to be increased further by domestic
power plants. Coal for power generation accounts for more
than 60% of Indonesia’s total coal consumption, and Indonesian
major coal producers are all forecast to produce more coal this
year (sourced from Reuters). Worldwide demand for power is
growing: Indonesia, India, China, South Africa, Vietnam are some
examples of countries whose power consumption is expected to
grow rapidly.
In such a scenario, the Indonesian company PT Berau Coal,
the fifth largest coal exporter in the country, is planning to
significantly increase its coal production.
Established in 1983, PT Berau Coal has its production site in
the Berau area, East Kalimantan, within the concession awarded
to the company by the Government of Indonesia.
The total coal production, apart from the portion dedicated
to the internal consumption, is commercialized and exported to
countries such as Chile, China, India and Japan, just to name a
Berau plans to boost its coal production passing from the
current annual volume of 15mt (million tonnes) up to 30mt, over
the course of around five years from mid 2011.
In order to support and guarantee the future expansion of
its annual throughput, PT Berau Coal has requested Coeclerici
Logistics to design a tailor-made offshore transshipment solution
for loading coal into ocean going vessels (‘OGV’).
The solution Coeclerici proposed to PT Berau was a
Floating Transfer Station (FTS).
The Floating Transfer Station was conceptualized and designed
by Coeclerici Logistics, and patented in various countries
including Indonesia.
The FTS solution results in better stability therefore enabling
the facility to operate in more adverse weather conditions.
Coeclerici Logistics’ investment is estimated to be in the range
of Euro 20 million. The contract, signed in December 2009, has
further strengthened Coeclerici Logistics’ presence in Indonesia
and reconfirms the company as a key provider of off-shore
logistics services to the major Indonesian coal producers.
The agreement provides for a minimum guaranteed quantity
of about 40 million metric tonnes during its ten years duration.
The FTS will be able to perform a loading rate in excess of
30,000 metric tonnes per day.
Bulk Kremi I – Black Sea
Coeclerici Logistics has strengthened its position in the Black
Sea with the recent joint venture with Transship Ltd, a leader
company of the transshipment operation in the area, for the
employment of Bulk Kremi I.
The FTS is operating in the gulf of Kerch to handle mainly
sulphur cargo, but also iron ore and coal overcoming logistics
bottleneck in the area. The operations, which will be performed
in conjunction with Transship Ltd, floating crane Atlas I, will
permit the fresh join venture to handle about 2.5 million metric
tonnes of cargo per year, offering their customers an integrated
logistic chain solution.
Bulk Irony — Piombino
Coeclerici Logistics has renewed for a further five years period
the contract with Lucchini steel mill, Italy, for the employment of
the Bulk Irony.
The FTS Bulk Irony is a self propelled dedicated facility
(utilized since 2003 by Lucchini SpA) operating in Italy
(Piombino) to overcome draught restriction by lightening part of
raw materials shipment (both coal and iron ore) offshore,
thereby reducing the overall sea
freight charge.
The success story of the Floating Transfer Station, a
system which Coeclerici Logistics has designed, developed
and patented is unparalleled. The FTS, which are already in
operation worldwide since many years, effectively enhance trading
activities around the world and is proof of Coeclerici’s ability to
develop tailor-made solutions, meet clients’ requirements
worldwide by drawing on expertise and professionalism,
which is the result of more than one hundred years of the
group’s presence in the maritime industry.
The FTS – currently under construction in China – is a nonpropelled
barge of about 11,000dwt, duly designed to smoothly
perform coal transloading while in operation at its Muara Pantai anchorage. The
FTS is equipped with two heavy duty cranes and two swivelling
shiploaders, along with a combination of hoppers and conveyors. The
whole of the handling system, as well as the main equipment,
will be supplied by European manufacturers. Accommodation
will be structural, and include the cargo control room and
the crew living spaces.
The FTS is designed with a minimum air draught of 18.5m
at maximum draught that makes it able to transship an
average of about 1,200tph (tonnes per hour) net in standard
conditions (with a peak of 1,500tph) from barges to OGV up
to Capesize vessels with maximum beam of 45m and
maximum dead weight tonnage of 180,000.
Criteria Value
  • LOA: 97.00m
  • Breadth (moulded): 32.26m
  • Depth (moulded): 7.50m
  • Draught (designed): 5.80m
  • Dwt at designed draught: abt. 11,000t
The FTS is environmentally friendly and designed to meet
the requirements of international classification societies and
according to IMO, MARPOL (SOPEP), IOPP, ISPP, IAPP as well
as local regulations and Coeclerici’s own standards.
Coal spillage and pollution are prevented by the following
  • anti spillage hoppers: duly designed hoppers – larger hoppers facilitate the operation of the crane driver. Hoppers
  • are provided with anti-spillage plates so that the cargo spillage, if any, is collected inside the hoppers instead of falling into the sea.
  • free spillage grabs: Grabs equipped with dust cover plates;
  • closed conveyor belts: all belts and the loading boom are covered to avoid windborne dust and are kept clean by
  • means of scrapers; and
  • high-efficiency diesel generator: The internal combustion engines of the auxiliary generators are of high fuel efficiency type, thus minimizing emissions.