Bulk Materials International March/April 2008: New Floating crane for Congo

E-Crane® in Belgium has consigned a floating transhipment station – a 1000m2 pontoon fitted with a series 1500B balance crane designed and built by Indusign/E-Crane Worldwide, for mid-stream operations in the Port of Matadi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The equipment will be used to discharge grain for US-based Seaboard Corp’s Minoterie de Matadi (Midema) flour mill in Matadi where, as in many ports in Africa, there are major congestion problems and a shortage of dockside equipment.
The floating transhipment station, MAMA MOBOKOLI, is fitted with a 13.7t-39.5m outreach E-Crane® balance crane, rated at 400 tph and suitable for grain ships up to Handymax size (25-30,000t).
The crane is fitted with a 225 kW motor and a 550 kVA/350 hp genset is installed in a container on the pontoon to allow it and the crane to operate independently, although there is also a connection for shore power. The operator’s cabin is mounted 14m above water level and lift height is 35m. Total crane and pontoon weight is 1050t, with the crane accounting for 200t.
The installed cost is around €3M, not counting the cost of the tugs that towed the station to Matadi from Zeebrugge, where the final testing took place.
Matadi is the fartest inland harbour on the Congo River. The existing infrastructure is dated and neglected. Only one of the ten original quays is still operative and ships can wait several weeks for a berth.
bulkmatMidema’s new floating crane pictured in Zeebrugge, prior to being towed to the Congo.
To unload ships arriving at Midema, MAMA MOBOKOLI will be towed alongside and use its winches to move along the ships. This enables the E-Crane® to unload all cargo holds quickly and efficiently.
A key advantage claimed for E-Cranes’ balance crane concept is that the counterweight moves not only up and down, but also back and forward, resulting in a small tipping moment and hence greater stability. There is less barge movement, less friction between the floating terminal and the vessel, more precise and faster grab positioning and more comfort for the operator and the crew working on board of the floating station.
Source: Bulk Materials International (WCN) – March /April issue 2008


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