Initiative builds on company’s involvement in groundbreaking shipping research
Bechtel has today launched a new research initiative aimed at improving the safety of mooring large cargo ships off the coast of West Africa.
The combination of heavy ocean swell, squalls and shallow coastlines can create unpredictable conditions which limit the number of dry bulkers that can be moored safely in the area. The results of this research aim to provide new mooring guidelines and systems, which will improve the transfer and transshipment of natural resources from the region.
Bechtel’s senior ports specialist, Marco Pluijm, announced the new research initiative at the Smart Ports Seminar in the Dutch city of Wageningen.
“The conditions in West Africa make it difficult to export natural commodities in newer vessels that are larger than the Panamax, which could be more cost-effective for dry bulk transport companies.”
“We will identify ways to mitigate the high downtime effects and provide innovative off-shore mooring solutions, to make it safer and more efficient for operators wanting to use Capesize vessels for dry bulk,” said Pluijm, who chairs the new joint-industry project.
The three-year research project will start in the third quarter of 2013 and involve testing and data collection in Liberia, Guinea, Gabon or Cameroon as well as the Netherlands.
The results will be used to create new recommendations for improved mooring of the largest vessels currently available, including Capesize and Very Large Ore Carriers. It will also provide a better understanding on potential applications of dynamic mooring systems and improved conditions for transshipment. Port authorities, maritime research institute representatives, pilots, linesmen, consultancies, and hardware suppliers will participate in the study.