Wave of the Future

by Teresa Acklin
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New ship unloading projects under way at ports around the world

   A new generation of ship unloading equipment was developed this summer by BMH Marine AB, Bjuv, Sweden. The PortMaster pneumatic ship unloader has a rated capacity of up to 400 tonnes of grain per hour and is suitable for vessels of up to 45,000 dwt, the company said.

   Mounted on rubber wheels, the machine can be moved around the port area. Once in place at the ship, it is connected to an electric power supply and is raised hydraulically. The machine can be equipped with a diesel generator for use in areas without a power supply, the company said. Material can be loaded directly onto trucks or into jetty conveyors.

   BMH Marine has supplied Siwertell continuous mechanical ship unloaders for grain and grain derivatives since 1974 with capacities of up to 1,500 tph.

   Buhler Ltd., Uzwil, Switzerland, said it was installing an increasing number of ship unloaders at large sea ports across the globe. Projects are currently in progress on the Red Sea and in Greece, Kenya, the Sudan and United Arab Emirates, among others.

   “Especially Portalino ship unloaders are in high demand,” Buhler said. “Since the beginning of this year, three additional customers have opted for such an installation.”

   Christianson Systems, Inc., Blomkest, Minnesota, U.S., has installed its SuperTower and SuperPortable ship unloaders for clients in Latin America. The SuperTower fanless ship unloaders provide higher, maintainable discharging capabilities, less energy consumption and gentler grain handling while the SuperPortable model offers operational flexibility, low investment, high conveying capacity (up to 300 tph), dust-free operation and other features normally found only on tower-type unloaders, Christianson said.

   Neuero Corp., West Chicago, Illinois, U.S., said a number of its GSD portable ship unloaders had been shipped recently to Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, including 150 portable machines to Mexico alone. The machines are used for discharging ships at inland grain terminals for general movement of cereal grains and meals, Neuero said.

   Vigan Engineering S.A., Nivelles, Belgium, has concentrated on new types of port equipment specifically designed and built for the end-user. These new ship loaders and unloaders are light, easy to operate and ecological, Vigan said.

   Rising demand for its port equipment contributed to the volume growth experienced during the first half of 1998, Vigan said.

   The company said it was negotiating several contracts at ports in India where authorities are considering allowing imports of oilseeds to compensate for shortfalls in local production and to offset the rise in edible oils. Vigan said it also had completed several new installations in Europe and the Middle East and had received new orders from South America and Central America.

   Some of the most recent projects and installations by these major manufacturers include:


   •Neuero Corp.'s associate company in Brazil, Maquinas Condor, was recently awarded a contract for a 300-tph pneumatic ship unloader in the Port of Santos. Multicargo, the port operator, recently won the tender for the lease of the Port Authority's main grain terminal and is investing in modernizing the facilities, Neuero said.

   •Maquinas Condor also is completing installation of a 2,000-tph ship loader for Archer Daniels Midland's new private grain terminal in the Port of Santos. The loader is designed to load Cape-size and 20,000-dwt vessels. The equipment will connect to a new 60,000-tonne warehouse, Condor said.

   •A new Vigan ship unloader left the factory in mid-September for the Port of Recife in Brazil. Further details about the equipment were unavailable.

   •BMH Marine last year supplied a 1,500 tph floating transshipment terminal to Hermasa, inaugurated

   in Itacoatiara on the Amazon River. The terminal includes a rail-mounted Siwertell barge unloader and stationary Siwertell ship loader, both mounted on a floating catamaran for transshipment of soybeans arriving in push barges from Porto Velho into ocean-going ships.


    •In May 1998, Enseporpa began discharging vessels at the Port of San Antonio with a new SuperPortable 300-tph ship unloader from Christianson Systems. The unloader is being used to convey all types of cereal grains, pellets and soybean meal.

   Cargo can be discharged directly from ocean-going bulk carriers into a shore-based conveying system or onto trucks. A towable chassis and self-contained diesel power system gives the SuperPortable unloader the flexibility to unload at various berths, Christianson said.


    •Vigan pneumatic ship unloaders on rails are in operation at the Port of La Havana for an unnamed, revamped flour mill. The Santiago de Cuba port also has invested in three ship unloaders for delivery this year, Vigan said.


   •Neuero Corp. is supplying two 500-tph mobile ship unloaders to Venus International. One unloader will be equipped with mechanical ship loading equipment. Neuero said its towers were designed with a special self-supporting bridge to load and receive material from a dual line belt conveyor approximately 34 meters from the edge of the quay.


   •Buhler will supply a 300-tph Portalino Type 1 ship unloader in the second half of 1999 to Loulis Muhle AG in Volos, Greece. The contract also will include a combined bag and bulk loader and various system components for a storage terminal, Buhler said. The delivery is part of a new grain mill near Volos, also to be supplied by Buhler.


   •A new 250-tph Vigan ship unloader will be installed in Sas Van Gent, Holland. This is the third part of an order that also included ship unloading equipment in England and Germany, Vigan said.


   •P.T. Bogasari Flour Mills, Jakarta, has purchased two 1,000-tph mobile Neuero ship unloaders. One unloader is equipped with a mechanical ship loader, rated at a capacity of 400 tph for bran pellets.

   Neuero previously supplied a 600-tph unloader at a second pier at the same facility, a 600-tph unloader at the Surabaya facility and a 190-tph unloader for P.T. Berdikari Flour Mills in Ujung Pandang.


   •Buhler will supply two Portalino Type 3/4B pneumatic ship unloaders to Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd. in Mombasa, Kenya. Start-up is scheduled for spring 1999.

   The machines will be used to unload grain and fertilizers at a rate of 300 tph. The two units will be equipped with a special washing system to permit unloading bulk materials without cross-contamination, Buhler said.


   •Installation is ongoing in Manzanillo of a 1,000-tph BMH Siwertell ship unloader for La Junta. The unloader is suitable for Panamax ships.

                      The Philippines:

   •Wellington Flour Mills commissioned a new barge unloading system from Neuero. The new system was placed alongside the existing unloader, which is being used as a clean-up system. Neuero also supplied a new mechanical conveying system from the unloader to the main storage facility.

   •Neuero also has begun work on a new 500-tph mobile unloader for a new flour mill near Manila. The expected shipping date is the beginning of the second quarter of 1999.


   •The final commissioning stages are under way for a new 800-tph mobile ship loading facility for East Point Holdings Ltd./Silotrans. Neuero Corp. is providing the equipment.

                     Spain/Canary Islands:

   •The first tests have been run in Tenerife with a BMH Siwertell ship unloader supplied to Cia Canaria de Materias Primas S.A. The unloader, mounted on rubber tires, has a capacity of 700 tph for grain arriving in ships of up to 35,000 dwt.


   •Sayga Flour Mills has ordered a Portalino Type 3 ship unloader from Buhler for its facility in Port Sudan. The ship unloader will be equipped with special rubber-tired traveling gear to allow it to accommodate the unevenness of the pier, Buhler said.


   •A road mobile BMH Siwertell ship unloader, suitable for vessels up to about 5,000 dwt, was supplied last year to Ahus Hamn. It is being used with grain derivatives of 150 to 250 tph.

                     United Arab Emirates

   •Buhler is expanding the port facility of Abu Dhabi Flour and Animal Feed Factory to enable 80,000-dwt bulk carriers and partially unloaded vessels of 120,000 dwt to be unloaded. The new installation, scheduled for completion in early 2000, will include two 400-tph Portalino pneumatic ship unloaders and an 800-tph receiving line for a storage terminal.


   •Algranel C.A. is modernizing its existing grain terminal at Puerto Cabello, Venezuela's largest grain receiving terminal. Two older pneumatic ship unloaders are being replaced with SuperTower Model 505/25 fanless ship unloaders from Christianson. Each unloader has a rated capacity of 500 tph and is equipped with a 25-meter intake boom for unloading up to Panamax vessels. The SuperTowers will discharge into trucks or to an inbound conveyor system that connects to more than 100,000 tonnes of grain storage at the port.

   The SuperTowers will be affixed to Algranel's existing traveling gantries that have been modified for the new equipment, Christianson said.


   •Buhler will supply a storage terminal in Port Saleef on the Red Sea, with start-up scheduled for mid-1999. According to Buhler, the installation will include two 300-tph pneumatic Portalift unloaders, one receiving line for a storage terminal with holding capacity of 120,000 tonnes, a bagging and bulk loadout section and a grain mill with grinding capacity of 300 tph.