Delivering the future today – the Floating Terminal Princesse Chloe



Sanjeev Mathur, Country Manager, Bedeschi & BLL, Dubai


Transshipment facilities of 10 years ago have been surpassed in capacity and capabilities by a new floating terminal design

The last decade has seen the evolution of various types of floating terminals. These have been deployed for various usages such as loading, discharging, lighterage, and so on. The most common ones, however, are used for offshore loading of dry bulk cargo – mainly coal.

Indonesia itself has witnessed the implementation of plethora of such transshipment facilities. The designs that were considered innovative in the last decade have now matured both in terms of capacity and capability. So the question arose – what now? This was indeed a challenge, which was accepted by PT Mitra Swire CTM, who has implemented a new futuristic Floating Terminal Princesse Chloe.

Equipment and capability

Princesse Chloe has just been delivered from the Keppel Subic Shipyard and will commence operation soon after completing its trial runs off Muara Pantai, East Kalimantan in Indonesia. The system boasts a daily loading rate of 40,000 tons of coal, and an annual capacity exceeding 9.5 million tons. This is achieved by the combination of creativity and reliable technologies such as:

• Engineering done by Logmarin Advisors

• Cranes supplied by Liebherr, and

• Hoppers, conveyor system and ship loader supplied by Bedeschi.

The Floating Terminal is equipped with two heavy-duty, fourrope offshore Liebherr cranes of 30 tons capacity each. They have been fitted with Peiner Smag grabs of 20.5m3 capacity, and are strategically placed in relation to the hoppers so as to minimize the slewing movement, thereby increasing the cycle time and efficiency. These heavy-duty cranes are specifically designed for offshore operations, which means they are more robust in construction and are able to perform even in adverse weather conditions. They are guaranteed to operate up to 2 meters of wave height and 25 knots wind speed.

Cargo handling system

The cargo handling system supplied by Bedeschi consists of two duly designed hoppers, and an array of conveyor systems leading to a telescopic/shuttle ship-loader. The hoppers are of 50m3 volume with a top opening sufficient to accommodate the footprint of the large grabs in use. The trunk-pyramidal shaped hoppers have asymmetrical walls to ensure smooth flow of coal through the hoppers into the transfer chute. The hoppers are fitted with vibrators to ensure free flow of sticky coal, in order to maintain the required flow rate. The tops of the hoppers are fitted with mesh grill to eliminate any oversize or undesirable material that may potentially damage or block the conveyor system.

In addition, hydraulically operated spill plates and a water sprinkler de-dusting system, both of which aim to minimize pollution. The spill plates are installed on the sea-side of the hoppers and are opened during cargo operations to cover the gap between the Floating Terminal and coal barge, thereby eliminating any chances of coal spillage. The water sprinkler system is installed on top of the hoppers to suppress the coal dust during grab delivery.

Coal from each of the hoppers is extracted by means of individual var iable speed belt feeders. These frequencycontrolled feeders extract coal from the hoppers and transfer it to the longitudinal conveyor. The belt width of the feeders is kept high and the speed is low to ensure uniform extraction of coal from the hoppers. Another conveyor then transports the coal longitudinally through the length of the Floating Terminal to the transfer point at a transverse conveyor. This helps in crossing over the entire beam of the terminal, leading to the final conveyor before being led to the ship-loader. The inclinations of all the conveyors have been designed in accordance to the grade of coal to be handled, in order to achieve smooth flow of cargo and avoid back-flow. Special care is taken in design of the transfer points to ensure no blockage occurs and the material flows smoothly. All the conveyors are enclosed to avoid airborne pollution.

The ship-loader is of shuttle/telescopic boom type and has a 19-meter air draft, making the Princesse Chloe capable of loading vessels large upto cape-size. The ship-loader is capable of swiveling by means of geared slewing rings, and luffing by means of hydraulic mechanisms. The shuttle length movement, in excess of 11 meters, gives the flexibility to deliver the cargo uniformly into the holds of the ocean-going vessels. A movable banana chute is fitted on the ship-loader’s end to ensure delivery of coal into all areas of the ocean-going vessel’s holds, which are normally not accessible by a straight chute. This is more important while loading cargoes with large stowage factors like coal, when it becomes important to fill in all the areas of the holds, thus avoiding dead freight charges.

Normally in a standard floating terminal belt shiploader type it is not possible to transfer a payloader to the ocean-going vessels to trim the holds. This is because the cranes are located on the other side of the barge and with their limited outreach it makes it impossible for them to deliver the payloaders into the oceangoing vessel’s holds. Without the payloaders, it is not possible to achieve proper distribution and compaction of large stowage factor cargo in the cargo holds of ocean-going vessels, thereby resulting in short loading. Thanks to Logmarin and Bedeschi’s innovation, a lifting winch has been incorporated on the delivery boom of the Princesse Chloe, which can easily transfer payloaders into the cargo holds, if required. This, both ‘banana chute’ and payloader lifting device allow best possible trimming will help in compaction of the coal in the holds of the vessels maximizing the vessel’s transport capacity.

The cargo handling equipment designed by Logmarin and constructed and supplied by Bedeschi is manufactured with the highest classification for heavy-duty work for open sea conditions. The equipment has been designed for a heel and trim of 5º and 3º respectively.

The Princesse Chloe has been equipped with double independent Caterpillar electrical generator sets: one set for duty, while the other is on standby or maintenance to ensure 24 hours a day nonstop operations. This means a 100 percent redundancy on this critical service. An SGS automatic sampling device has been installed on the terminal to enable the shipper to take samples of cargo as delivered, into the ocean-going vessels’ holds. It is also equipped with a belt scale to monitor the cargo quantity loaded, and a metal detection system to initiate an alarm if any metal is detected on the conveyor system.

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