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A mobile solution

Published by
World Coal,

Philip Waddell, Telestack Ltd, UK, discusses the use of mobile equipment for metallurgical coke loading at Port Kembla, Australia.

Telestack has recently installed and commissioned a mobile materials transfer and shiploading system for metallurgical coke (metcoke) loading at Port Kembla, New South Wales, Australia.

Before Telestack’s mobile equipment, the customer moved metcoke stock from the point of production to a dedicated berth, which was a 50 min round trip. The material was then stockpiled before being picked up and transported to the shiploader. It then moved to skip loading from its berth, which had recently become available due to a reduction in steel export activity. This eliminated the 50 min transport leg and the double handling of the brittle material; however, it was labour intensive and consequently very expensive.

Mobile equipment
The client had previously employed Telestack’s mobile telescopic conveyors, combined with Telestack mobile truck unloaders, from the same berth during shiploading trials in 2009. In 2011, these were used as an alternate stockpile reclaimer for coal, coke and iron ore, when used in conjunction with front-end loaders. The TU815 had also been successfully employed as a replacement for permanent reclaimers during breakdowns and scheduled shutdowns, reclaiming iron ore, coal and iron sands with rates in excess of 800 tph.

The client envisaged a system that would deliver 400 tph of metcoke to handymax vessels. To achieve this, they wanted to use their existing TU815HD mobile truck unloader to feed the new shiploader. However due to a cycle time of approximately 5 min/truck tipping and a nett weight of trucks of 20 t of metcoke, a second truck unloader was required.

The Telestack TU1015R mobile truck unloader was bought with variable speed on the hydraulic pump to drive the feeder, allowing the client to alter the speed depending on the material being handled. The range of materials being handled varied from 0.45 t/m3 – 2.8 t/m3 density. This feature proved invaluable to allow the operators to control feed rates to the shiploader. When designing the shiploader, Telestack engineers were faced with several application challenges in which they had to overcome. These included:

  • A weight restriction of 45 t/m3 loading on the jetty.
  • A narrow jetty width of 25 m.
  • Minimising degradation of the brittle metcoke, which required a cascade chute and slow belt speeds.
  • The extremely abrasive nature of the material, requiring ceramic liners
  • Feeding the shiploader by trucks and unloaders from both sides to achieve required capacity.
  • Overall weight restrictions, while still complying with local Australian standards.

Overcoming the challenges
Telestack was able to design a system that overcame all of the above challenges. The TS1242 radial telescopic shiploader incorporated full dust suppression features, including removable undertrays, telescopic dust covers and a cascade chute with a trimmer at the end. The cascade chute allows for the soft loading of the material, while the trimmer enables the operator to easily reach under hatch coaming when finalising the loading process. This, along with the standard feature of a 17 m telescopic boom, allows for effective trimming.

The shiploader also incorporates a variable speed drive on both the inner and outer conveyors to cater for a range of material densities and also accommodates soft transfer point loading to minimise degradation by reducing belt speeds. The shiploader also had 1800 mm dia. radial wheels at the front to minimise loading at the jetty due to weight restrictions. The unit is fully self contained and fully mobile with an onboard 180 kVA enclosed Cat genset with full remote control of functions.

The client has successfully loaded handymax vessels for nearly a year now. When the shiploader is not in use shiploading, the client can remove the shiploader from the berth for routine maintenance and washdown leaving the jetty free for other port activities.

This article was originally published in the November issue of World Coal. For more articles like this, sign up today for a free trial.

Written by Philip Waddell, Telestack Ltd, UK.

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