Two continuous ship unloaders prove successful in Tanjung Bin, Malaysia

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ThyssenKrupp Fördertechnik GmbH, St. Ingbert-Rohrbach, Germany

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In Januar y, 2004, a Japanese main contractor awarded ThyssenKrupp Fördertechnik GmbH of St. Ingbert-Rohrbach, Germany the contract to construct a turn-key coal handling plant at Tanjung Bin in Malaysia. The coal handling plant was for a new 3 x 700 MW coal-fired power plant which has been built to meet the country’s constantly increasing power consumption.

The scope of supply and commissioning for the coal handling system included three combined bucket-wheel stacking and reclaiming machines, the complete belt conveyor system with its advanced control system as well as two continuous ship unloaders. The two continuous ship unloaders are designed to unload ships ranging from 35,000 up to 150,000 DWT at an unloading rate of 2,000 tonnes per hour each.

The high degree of automation and the use of a computer controlled unloading programme (Computer Aided Unloading) enable the operator to monitor and control the unloading process and all movements of the machine from a cabin situated next to the bucket elevator, using the video-aided system to carry out the unloading operation. Radio control can also be used for coordinating and adjusting the movements and processes.

Each ship unloader is equipped with an additional hopper, ensuring a continuous feed to the belt conveyors, with the volume flow rate being adjustable. By using the foot adjustment on the bucket elevator on the continuous ship unloaders, the operator can easily follow the movements both of the material being unloaded and the vessel itself so that any necessary adjustments can be made quickly and efficiently.

A new component, the rotary feeding table, has been successfully integrated into the unloader system, which ensures a continuous material discharge at the bucket elevator, while at the same time helping to reduce the overall height to a minimum. Thanks to another innovation – an angled unloading tube – it is possible to reach the areas under the hatches easily and get to the walls in the holds of larger ships already early on in the unloading operation.

Following the completion of the design and fabrication, both unloaders were shipped to their final destination where the necessary commissioning activities began as soon as the machines had been offloaded. Intensive training was carried out in parallel with the installation work in order to prepare the operators in the handling of the machine and the forthcoming unloading tests.

The two continuous ship unloaders had to unload the correct tonnage in a pre-determined period of time from a designated vessel in order to obtain acceptance from the client. In doing this, the machines demonstrated their ability to fulfil the specified requirements with regard to their peak unloading capacity, their ability to unload within a predetermined period and also to unload the entire vessel.

The unloading tests were successfully concluded on the 17th and 18th of August, 2006 with above-average positive results, enabling TKF to maintain their position as  a worldwide leading and competent company by integrating two more continuous ship unloaders into the unloading cycle.

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