Video: BigLift Shipping News – Heavy Lift News
1 Apr 2018

Video: BigLift Shipping News


In this article we show you three very different projects where a total of six new cranes were delivered and seven old ones were removed. All had their own challenges and puzzles to be solved.

BigLift Shipping has continued its specialist mining industry role in Australia by completing delivery and removal of its 34th shiploader/ship unloader/reclaimer.

The latest of these moves was for client Sandvik Mining and Construction (Australia) when BigLift delivered two new shiploaders, and removed three existing ones at Port Waratah Coal Services’ (PWCS) Carrington Terminal in Newcastle, Australia.

First stage

The shipping contract was signed in June 2015 and the first stage of the project was completed in July 2016. This involved the delivery of two new shiploaders, and the removal of an existing one.

With this work Happy Buccaneer continued her remarkable involvement in Australia’s resource industry –developments which have been more or less ongoing since 1986. Due to the size of the new machines (700 mt) Happy Buccaneer used her tweendeck hatch covers as deck extensions on the weather deck. In this way one of the shiploaders could be driven aft on specially installed rails. After having been lifted on board, the first shiploader was safely pulled passed the Happy Buccaneer’s Crane 2, with centimetres to spare, to reach its sea passage position. The second shiploader was loaded in between Cranes 1 and 2. At Newcastle the discharging sequence was reversed.

Uninterrupted operations

One of the unique requirements of this job was that the PWCS loading facility needed to remain active before and after the delivery of the new machines. To achieve this, the existing Shiploader 3 was decommissioned and prepared for shipping prior to delivery of the new shiploaders.

The actual delivery and removal were then carried out during a scheduled maintenance shutdown. Once the operation was completed, PWCS could then continue loading coal onto vessels with the remaining shiploaders 1 and 2 whilst the new shiploaders were commissioned and brought into service.

Rounding off

Then, the existing shiploaders 1 and 2 were decommissioned and prepared for shipping. The second stage of the contract was the removal of these shiploaders which was conducted in February 2017 and performed by Happy Delta, as at 418 mt the shiploaders were well within the ship’s capacity. The existing shiploaders were loaded onto Happy Delta in four separate pieces each. To ensure no damage was done to the coal delivery conveyor gantries during the lifting process, BigLift used its unique Synchoist system (see insert) This system enables the lifting slings to be lengthened or reduced in length during the lifting process so that the shiploaders could be lifted in a level positon, so they were free of the nearby gantries. The terminal was immediately able to re-commence loading coal with only minimum downtime.

BigLift would like to thank Sandvik Mining and PWCS for their invaluable assistance and cooperation in performing the safe, injury free, timely and efficient delivery and removal of the five shiploaders.

The delivery of new shiploaders to existing wharfs often brings with it the added task of removing the old installation which is usually still in operation until a few days before its removal. Therefore, these projects have their own specific requirements.

Tight delivery times

Bulk wharfs want to remain in operation as much as they can, so the delivery of a new crane should ideally not hamper the daily run of loading or unloading vessels.

Closing the wharf down means ships waiting and stocks running up. Often, the delivery of the new crane is planned within a scheduled shutdown which makes for very narrow delivery windows.

Quest for details

BigLift has lately undertaken quite a number of such CARRINGTON deliveries and pick-ups, as shown in these pages.

Preparation time for the new loaders or unloaders can run up to 12 months, with every tiny detail of the machine known and used to ensure a damage-free, timely and smooth delivery. However, details for the old equipment that is to be taken away, are often much harder to come by. The old unloader/loader can have been in service for decades, drawings are no longer extant, things were changed over the years and the material has deteriorated.

Question marks galore

There are question marks galore; information on internal strength, stability and the centre of gravity has to be found. One aspect is clear though, the new and the old crane will have the same rail gauge, so the ship that brings the new one in and takes the old away, will not need to change the situation on board where rails are concerned.

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