Offshore opportunities: evaluating the role of offshore systems in the field of unloading



Pietro de Michieli, Bedeschi Spa, Italy


In 2008 Bedeschi Group is celebrating the first century since its foundation in 1908. The Company has always worked in the field of bulk material handling in various industrial sectors including cement, mining and power plants, as well as port and marine. Herein below lies a short presentation outlining actual case studies in order to demonstrate Bedeschi’s capability to handle different market and project tasks.

In many forms of transport, it is the area of logistics where it is still possible to achieve substantial savings, while optimisingthe production process. Even in the export or import of coal for power stations, logistics is now becoming a part of the industrial process. This is because it is possible to increase reliability by optimising plant flows, while at the same time cutting costs.

In recent years, the average size of Panamax and Cape ships has been increasing. Today, Panamax and Cape modern vessels are much bigger than ships that main ports were used to receiving in the past. This means a reduced number of ports are suited for these larger vessels. Optimising loading and unloading time through the construction and development of new ports and offshore infrastructures is a long process.

Some ports offer the advantage of possessing deep water, with wide and flat handling areas, and offering quick and easy handling. However, for other ports, the available space and range of equipment is only suited to the previous generation of ships, which makes them an unfavourable choice for shipping companies. These ports have to compete in international markets, while facing very limiting logistic conditions because of their position.

In recent years, new transhipping solutions have been realised that can overcome these problems by using less expensive and more flexible equipment compared to the special structures installed in the dock.

Offshore unloading

The solution can be found in an offshore unloading system. This refers to floating crane transhipment ships, floating terminals and artificial isles or type pontoons.

An example of the offshore unloading system has been designed by Bedeschi. It is a plant for continuous coal loading onto ocean vessels up to capesize in deep water anchorage.

The Bulk Prosperity loading pontoon carried out according to the technical data shown in the tables will allow loading of any kind of material on any type of ship, thus making this equipment absolutely flexible and reliable for any kind of need.

Bulk Prosperity pontoon

We show hereunder the technical description of the equipment, machines and solutions to carry out the bulk handling on the new bulk prosperity pontoon working in the Indian Ocean:

Technical description

No. 2 hoppers with extraction group

Receiving hopper T1 and T2

• Each hopper has a volumetric capacity of approx. 50 m3
• Loading mouth 9×8 m
• The hopper is internally lined in the bottom part with steel anti-wearing plates Hardox 500 with thickness of 12 mm, fixed with flaring-head screws
• A beam has been planned to divert the material towards the hopper bottom and avoid as much as possible the impact of the coal on the apron feeder by empty hopper

• The hopper upper borders are duly protected by the contact andknocks of the bucket by means of sturdy wooden buffers and they are shaped in such a way to facilitate the unloading

• The inclination on the horizontal of the hopper side walls will not be inferior to 50°.

Extraction group

Under each receiving hopper a rubber extractor has been placed, suitable to convey 1,200 t/h of coal from the hopper to the system of loading belt conveyors. This solution will grant reliability of operation even with sticky materials.

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