DNV has initiated a concept study together with industry partners – FKAB, MAN Diesel & Turbo, TGE Marine and Cargotec – to design a very large ore carrier (VLOC). The objective is to introduce innovative solutions that increase efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of bulk ship operations while at the same being both technically and economically feasible.
A MacGregor self-loading system from Cargotec makes wide-beam VLOCs feasible, with accompanying efficiency and environmental benefits. An innovative MacGregor self-loading system from Cargotec is an integral element of Ecore, DNV’s 250,000 dwt sustainable ore carrier concept introduced in May at the Nor-Shipping exhibition in Norway. DNV says that Ecore has been designed to be more efficient and environmentally friendly in comparison with existing very large ore carriers (VLOCs), and that the focus has been on available technology so that the concept ship could be built today.
“The MacGregor material handling system is designed to overcome the problems that can be caused at bulk cargo loading terminals by the length and width of a vessel,” says Cargotec Sales Director, Johan Ericson. “It makes it possible for the shore-based loader to operate at a single point along the vessel, removing the need to move the loader, or the ship, or even both, during the loading process.
“The reliable and robust design ensures continuous operation and reduces cargo loading time. The system’s key benefits are time savings in port, and substantial environmental advantages.”
The vessel has two receiving hoppers, one on each side, and bulk material is loaded into one of these at up to 16,000 tph by the shore-based loader. From the hopper, cargo is fed to the loading conveyor, which travels on rails in the upper part of the cargo hold and ensures continuous loading throughout the length of the hold. The conveyor is reversible so that it can distribute material to both ends.
To ensure that material is evenly distributed throughout the cargo hold, a slewable boom conveyor is fitted at each end of the loading conveyor. Optimum cargo distribution during loading removes the need for ballasting to minimise the bending and shear forces experienced when loading conventional multi-hold vessels.
The shore-based ship loader is connected to the receiving hopper with bellows, and there is no need to open the hatches during the loading process, resulting in a continuous, totally enclosed loading sequence. “This naturally delivers very real benefits for the crew, stevedores and the immediate surroundings,” Mr Johansson says.