Published on February 14, 2017


By the end of December 2016 Bedeschi has successfully fulfilled the commissioning of a three tower design ship loader with a design rate of 6,000 tph to provide ship loading from 50,000 dwt up to 180,000 dwt vessels. The coal terminal plant of CMT, Convent Marine Terminal, is located on the Mississippi river near Convent (Louisiana) and it is owned since 2015 by SunCoke Energy.


Bedeschi, founded in 1908, is a leading supplier of machinery and services to bulk material handling and mining industries with specific focus on handling difficult materials such as sticky coal and clay or dry mining and abrasive materials like iron ore and other minerals. In addition to traditional brick and tile manufacturing equipment, Bedeschi’s products cover a full range of bulk handling solutions, offshore transhipment, marine logistics and a complete line of crushing equipment.


The ship loader consists of these following major elements: three slewing tower loaders with telescopic shuttles: tower three (SHL-3) receives the coal from storage and controls the distribution to the two loading towers downstream (SHL-2 and SHL-1) by means of a diverting hopper. Tower two (SHL-2) can also divert the coal to tower one (SHL-1) or direct load all of the coal received from tower three (SHL-3). The three towers are connected by means of two link conveyors (LC-2 and LC-1) for the distribution of coal according to the operational requirements. Each loader has at the shuttle tip a telescopic chute with trimming spoon which allows the operator to direct the flow of material into the ship hold. All the conveyors have been equipped with suppression dedusting water spray/mist system and belt washing system.

Advantages of this type of installation, when compared for instance to a classical A-frame ship loader travelling on rails and with luffing boom, are basically LOW MAINTENANCE COSTS and EFFICIENCY.

LOW MAINTENANCE COSTS depends on the fact that there are no rails on concrete foundations and therefore no settlements or displacements due to quay deflections as the years go by. So there will be no costs due to wear of wheels and especially for civil works of rails realignment.

Basic motions of the three ship loaders, i.e. boom slewing of 150° and shuttle travelling with outreach from 20 m [65 ft] to 52 m [150 ft], are respectivelly with geared slewing ring or pinion-rack, gearboxes and electric drive units, which need very low maintenance effort, when compared for instance to periodic inspections required by winch ropes.

EFFECIENCY is achieved by means of the three tower design: this permits to position one loader while the other one is running, so downtime is avoided to change from one ship hold to the other; the design of this three towers ship loader permits to load all compartments of a Capesize ship without need to move the vessel. Moreover some types of ships have cranes or other onboard structures which require downtime due to the luffing boom positioning: with this type of design for booms, very high with reference to the ship holds, jump over obstacles on the ship is much faster and easier.

The ship loader is also “redundant”, so in case of suddenly failure of one of the three loaders it will be possible to finish the loading operations with the other two without having to wait for reparations: this is a very important convenience, especially in marine terminals, where “time is money”.




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