Tuesday 30th Nov, 2021

Massive bulk ship unloader delivered to Port of Newcastle

A $35 million bulk ship unloader, one of the largest single pieces of machinery to be brought into the Port of Newcastle, has arrived in Australia.

A $35 million bulk ship unloader, one of the largest single pieces of machinery to be brought into the Port of Newcastle, has arrived in Australia.

Measuring in at more than 62 metres high and weighing 750 tonnes, the bulk ship unloader has capacity to unload bulk cargo – such as fertilisers, mineral sands, and various other bulk cargoes – at up to 1200 tonnes per hour.

The unloader will be installed at the Newcastle Bulk Terminal and was delivered by a specialist heavy lift ship, the 19,000-tonne Happy Star.

The Happy Star is a 156-metre-long vessel featuring two 1100 tonne heavy lift mast cranes. It has been on a two-week journey from Vietnam to deliver the crane to the Port of Newcastle.

The second phase of the project will include conveyor infrastructure to link the berth directly to nearby customer storage and load-out facilities. This will be a significant increase on current discharge rates, vastly improving berth efficiency.

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Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the arrival of the state-of-the-art unloader was a significant milestone in optimising bulk handling efficiencies at the Port.

“The previous two unloaders were built in 1968 and were decommissioned in 2018 in order to be replaced with machinery that delivers the highest standards in safety and environmental management and a superior commercial outcome for customers,” Carmody said.

“This investment is part of Port of Newcastle’s commitment to providing the most efficient supply chain for internationally-trading businesses and, ultimately, support the Hunter’s economic growth.”

The new unloader will now undergo a commissioning phase, which includes rigorous testing and training for crane operators and maintenance teams. It is expected the commissioning will take approximately four months with the ship unloader ready for operation in late 2021.