Feeding global demand: a new Landmark in coal handling



Pietro de Michieli, Managing Director – Projects and Sales, Bedeschi S.p.A, Limena, Italy


Bulk Logistic Landmark

Bulk Logistic Landmark (BLL) is the strategic business alliance of partner companies Bedeschi, Liebherr and Logmarin. BLL aims to profit from the synergies, individual strengths and networks of each of the three partner companies to provide dependable, integrated, cost effective software and hardware, and eco-friendly solutions to the dry-bulk supply chain.

Family-owned since its foundation in 1908, Bedeschi is a leader in machinery and services for the bulk materials handling and minerals sector, focusing on the handling of ‘difficult materials’ such as sticky coal or clay, from iron ore to other minerals. Liebherr is also a historic family company, reputed for its fast handling, reliability and superior technology. As the leading maritime cranes supplier, Liebherr provides tailor-made solutions for operations on any vessel, quayside, barge, transshipper; whether handling containers, bulk cargoes, pallets or heavy lifts. Last but not least, Genoese Logmarin Advisors specializes in shipping and mar itime logistics, and is part of RINA (Italian Classification Society and IACS member) and leading shipbroker Banchero Costa. Logmarin provides an integrated and comprehensive consultation and advisory service, delivering value to industry and the waterborne supply chain. What follows is a short overview of recent coal handling projects BLL and Bedeschi have undertaken.

Coal unloading at Toros terminal, Turkey

The first challenge for the BLL alliance was work on the new unloading facilities at the multipurpose Toros terminal, Turkey. Two Liebherr grab cranes were installed and connected to a Bedeschi conveyor system. A 60m3 hopper, with a reversible dosing feeder and another conveyor to the storage area was also designed, and is now in operation.

On one side, 900t/h of coal may be discharged to trucks by means of a hydraulically adjustable chute. On the other side, various types of fertilizers may be stored in the existing building. The Bedeschi Group specializes in the design and manufacture of machinery for handling and processing clay for the brick and roof tile industry, as well as for processing bulk solids such as clay, limestone, shale, coal, gypsum, fertilizers and others for several applications.

Even today, coal is one of the most important energy sources in the world, second only to oil as an energy resource. Since it is found throughout the world, coal satisfies nearly 45 percent of the energy requirements of Asia, and more than 50 percent of a number of other countries, including China and India. The huge surge in demand for energy in recent years has lead to an increase in coal’s share of the total energy requirement worldwide. The application of modern technology to smoke treatment has greatly reduced the environmental impact of coal power plants, which nowadays can be comparable to other types of thermo-electrical power plants. Today, the bulk materials handling market requires more efficient and economical methods of transporting and storing coal.

Coal Handling at the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, USA

Bedeschi America Inc., the US arm of the company, is providing the design, engineering and complete supply of equipment to the development of Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, a new clean-coal power station operated by Dominion Energy. The contract includes the supply of all electrical and control systems for two STK 31/1400 linear stackers, and two PAL P 22+12 portal reclaimers for coal handling at the power station. The stackers are designed for 950stons/hour and the reclaimers are designed for 855/stons/hour.

What makes this project unique is that Dominion Energy will be blending low-BTU coal with high-BTU coal on the field belt conveyor, which will be fed by the Bedeschi reclaimers. This method of blending required the engineers of Bedeschi, Dominion Energy and their consulting engineers Power Engineers, and the Shaw Group to work in close conjunction,in order to develop the operating software program. This software automatically adjusts the quantities of low-BTU coal and high-BTU coal to maintain an optimized heat value within a desired range. The ability to change the blend of low-BTU coal and high-BTU coal will allow the Dominion Energy boilers to operate at a very high efficiency level and also maintain acceptable emission levels.

Dominion Energy has also made savings by eliminating the need for expensive multiple coal bunkers and the required extraction feeders that would need to be installed beneath them. Coal silos will still be utilized, however, to ‘fine tune’ the coal blend as it is conveyed directly from the storage piles.

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