Monday 22nd Oct, 2018

Bulk terminal development to raise the bar

The Port of Newcastle will create the Newcastle Bulk Terminal by combining Kooragang 2 and 3 berths under one banner.

The Port of Newcastle recently announced a $33 million investment in a Bulk terminal development at Walsh Point, Kooragang Island, Paula Wallace writes.

As part of its vision to make Newcastle the cleanest and most efficient bulk handling import facility on the east coast, the Port of Newcastle is creating a bulk terminal by combining Kooragang 2 and Kooragang 3 berths under one banner.

The two existing ship unloaders, which are now over 50 years old, are due to be replaced. However, the $33 million investment will see more than just the replacement of unloaders.

The project will introduce state-of-the-art crane and conveyor infrastructure that will incorporate the latest in safety and environmental compliance features.

“We have listened to our customers and are proud to be setting a world-class benchmark in the handling of bulk materials for their benefit,” said Port of Newcastle’s CEO, Geoff Crowe.

He told ABHR that the development of the Newcastle Bulk Terminal is key to the growth and diversification of the Port’s trade.

“Kooragang 2 and 3 berths are already the busiest and most diverse common user berths in the Port, handling fertiliser, meals, alumina, magnetite, cement and a range of bulk liquids commodities,” said Mr Crowe.

“The new equipment will provide increased unloading capability for optimum delivery of our customers’ products to their facilities.

“Improved efficiency at the berth means greater access and more volume capacity.”

The new crane will be a slewing/luffing grab crane that can accommodate a diverse range of cargo types. It will be designed and built by Tenova Takraf.

The new unloader will have capacity of 1,000 tonnes per hour, up from the current average rate of 230 tonnes per hour.

In addition to the new crane unloader, the project includes temporary mobile hopper unloading infrastructure and environmental services. The Port will also implement direct management of the terminal ensuring the core port principle of common user access is maintained.

“The Newcastle Bulk Terminal is the centrepiece of the bulk cargo precinct within the Port of Newcastle,” said Mr Crowe. “It is designed to cater for a diversified cargo mix on a common user basis using common onsite equipment.”

Port of Newcastle is implementing a new service model that provides a range of environmental services at the terminal.

“Previously the environmental services were performed by each individual user, such as the stevedores, on an event-by-event basis,” said Mr Crowe. “This type of service provision lacked economies of scale and consistency of application.”

The Port went to open market tender for a single service to be provided under Port of Newcastle’s direction. The environmental services will include 24/7 mechanical sweeping, equipment cleaning, post vessel berth cleaning and onsite bulk cargo waste management.

Stage 2 of the Walsh Point Master Plan will include minimising cargo double handling, reducing cargo transfer points and removing trucks from the berths through the use conveyor systems.

“Connecting directly with customers’ distribution sheds is critical to unlocking the environmental and efficiency improvements,” said Mr Crowe.

The terminal will provide connected “surge shed” capacity for those customers whose infrastructure still requires the use of truck transfers with fully enclosed and dust-controlled truck loading after the ship has completed its discharge and departed.

Demolition underway

The Port has engaged Kerman Contracting to carry out most of the development including the crane replacement, with electrical work to be performed by Downer EDI.

James Rowdon from Kerman told ABHR that the project has already commenced with the demolition of the existing ship loaders and associated conveyor systems.

“We are working closely with the Port of Newcastle and other key stakeholders utilising 3D modelling which enables interactive participation, to ensure the successful delivery of this project,” he said.

Some of the challenges include working around existing infrastructure and services.

“We are utilising surveying services from a local surveying consultancy with a long history and a well established database of the area,” said Mr Rowdon.

The scope includes the design and construction of a new 1200mtph slewing and luffing ship unloader, a new 240 metre bi-directional wharf conveyor including transfer towers at either end, associated piling and civil works, replacement of existing wharf crane rails and all associated services including water, air and electrical/control systems.

The new ship unloader will be the first of its type in Australia, and claims to provide multipurpose bulk commodity unloading efficiencies superior to machines currently operating in Australia.

The ship unloader will be equipped with fully integrated dust extraction system and washdown facilities. The wharf conveyor and transfer towers will be enclosed and also be equipped with washdown facilities. Water from the washdown will be separately collected for disposal.

“The development is essentially split into two stages – demolition which commenced in June and will run through to September 2018, followed by new construction which is due to commence in the first quarter 2019 and will run through to end of that year,” said Mr Rowdon.