The shiploader that has been designed, engineered, and installed by Bedeschi for Cargill is a complete preprocessing mobile unit rather than a conventional shiploader. It features a double track drive over hopper, grains sampling, weighing and scalping, and is able to load ships up to Panamax size at a capacity of 1000 tph on grain and oilseeds.
The system has been designed to fully meet Australian standards (from a structural and electrical point of view) and Cargill’s best practices rules. To comply with Cargill’s safety requirements, instead of using the traditional bucket elevators, for example, Bedeschi designed a special version of its chain elevator (normally applied to shipunloading) to grant superior safety and dust tight operations. With this application of a known technology in a completely different scenario, the company has also provided a solution to the very narrow quay available, which would have allowed for loading just small barges and concentrate in a single machine that would have required several individual pieces of equipment and thus a decrease in operational efficiency.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic during project execution led to a full project review process. This process consisted of a detailed reorganisation of all project phases, from those that were yet to be completed, to the final step of the shiploader commissioning in Australia.
All this became possible as a result of the synergistic collaboration between the Bedeschi and Cargill teams, who worked together in the development of the risk analysis and the mitigation plan. This collaboration and sharing experience enabled progression of the project in an effective and efficient way, despite Italy, China, and Australia being in full lockdown.
An additional challenge added to the project was the difficult visa obtaining procedures, due to the regulation changes caused by COVID-19, and the travel logistics for the Bedeschi field engineers. As a result of the Bedeschi service team, the company’s engineers managed to be present on the most crucial phases of the project, both in China and Australia. Their presence on the ground, and therefore their ability to promptly handle all the typical issues of these large projects, has been a key factor for the success of the project.