Tailor Made Solutions
The Seaboard Corporation needed a ship-to-shore solution for the discharging of Handy and Handymax vessels with ship-toship and midstream transloading capabilities of breakbulk commmodities on the Congo river in Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo.
As in many ports in Africa there are major port congestion problems. This, combined with the lack of new and reliable dockside equipment, was a major bottleneck in MIDEMA’s grain supply chain.
E-Crane promptly started working on the problem and came up with the solution: The Mama Mobokoli (which means “mother that takes care” in one of the local dialects) is a 400 tonnes per hour midstream break bulk transfer station equiped with an E-Crane of 36m outreach and net payload of 8 tonnes.
The new floating terminal will greatly improve the capacity, efficiency and flexibility of Seaboard’s MIDEMA grain terminal’s ship unloading operations.
Conceptual design studies were carried out in close cooperation with the customer to determine the best floating terminal concept with particular emphasis on the optimum placement of the E-Crane.
A winch will be used to manoeuvre the barge, which isn’t self-propelled, between the ship and the shore. The barge will then be used to transfer the grain from the ship into two hoppers from where it will be transported directly to the flourmills by conveyor belt.
The advantage over other floating crane concepts is the fact that the E-Crane’s counterweight moves not only up and down but also back and forward resulting in a very small tipping moment. This means less barge movement and the result is less friction between the floating terminal and the vessel, more precise and faster grab positioning as well as more comfort for the operator and the crew working on board of the floating transfer station.
Another advantage of the whole set-up is that the company now owns all the equipment used in its operation, and should things change in the future, it will be able to relocate easily, without having to leave valuable infrastructure behind.
The Mama Mobokoli, designed for Handymax vessels, is fitted with a 1500B-Series E-Crane, with a lifting capacity of 13.5 tonnes and a grab capacity of 10m2. The E-Crane also has better filling capacity because the hydraulics make it possible to push down on the material.
The floating terminal was designed and built entirely by E-Crane in Europe. A tugboat will tow the barge and reach the client in Matadi after approximately 45 days of towing.
The client’s biggest concern now, after specifics and figures, is the proper training and education of crane drivers.
Fortunately the E-Crane team prides itself in making the crane driver’s job as simple as possible. Unlike many other crane manufacturers, who simply use technology for the sake of keeping up with trends, E-Crane believes that computers have to help make life better, not just make it look better while actually being more complicated!
E-Crane’s main goal, when it comes to the cab, is:
- keep it simple
- transparency for the cab driver — state of the art technology, electronics, hydraulics and easy serviceability, BUT to the cab driver it’s just:
- two simple joysticks
It’s about productivity, the E-Crane Control System helps, takes away a lot of the decision making and helps to do the best job possible.
The E-Crane Floating Bulk Handling Terminal Concept
Ten years ago E-Crane delivered the first barge and ship mounted E-Cranes to offload barges and small ships. E-Crane has adapted this great concept for the offloading of ships up to Panamaxclass and has more than 15 units successfully operating worldwide.
These barge or ship mounted E-Cranes have been developed in close cooperation with the clients. The concept of a floating bulk handling terminal is well suited for both port operations (ship-to-shore) as well as midstream transfer (barge-toship and ship-to-barge).
The E-Crane organization is always open minded when it comes to solving its clients special needs and requirements. This famous ‘can-do’ attitude has resulted in ‘cutting edge’ solutions that have successfully served E-Crane’s customers worldwide.
Source: Dry Cargo International (DCi) – March Issue, 2008