Digital Re-print March | April 2014

Flexibility and efficiency delivered to Baltic agri-bulk hub
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Flexibility and efficiency delivered to Baltic agri-bulk hub
by Siwertell


ega’s new hub terminal has more than doubled its cargo handling capacity to five million tonnes per year and is proving an excellent showcase for the integrated Siwertell design and technology solution that is helping the company achieve it. The operational contrast between conventional bulk handling machinery and the Siwertell portfolio from Cargotec is strong, says Jörgen Ojeda, Director for Siwertell mobile unloaders. While many competitor systems are noisy and polluting, Siwertell systems are extremely unobtrusive; quiet, enclosed, spillage-free and with dust creation reduced to an absolute minimum. Even their physical presence is minimised, for although these are major mechanical structures, they are frequently more compact and lightweight than alternatives. “It’s something of a paradox, but to understand the full benefits of our technology and the way it is applied to our products, you have to appreciate all the things that you don’t see and hear!” he says. “This is even more the case when it comes to our terminal solutions; even though there will normally be a lot going on, there will be very little to see or hear. “You’ll see very few personnel, because the processes will be largely automated and controlled from a central control room. In many cases you won’t see or hear much of the cargo being handled either, because it will be travelling, very quietly, via overhead or subterranean conveyors, routed to storage areas, loading bays or to a ship loader for onward shipping. “We have many references for successful equipment supply and bulk terminal designs, testing and commissioning, for a wide range of dry bulk commodities and trade patterns,” notes Mr Ojeda. A recent contract for Bega – a major stevedoring company operating in Lithuania’s third largest port, Klaipéda – is an excellent showcase for the company’s expertise in addressing the need for a very flexible terminal solution that offers a wide range of options for dealing with a range of agri-bulk commodities in a way that allows importers and exporters to make the best commercial decisions with regard to their bulk assets as well as their seasonal requirements. Prior to implementing its Siwertell solution, Bega was quite limited in the scope of its agri-bulk operations at Klaipéda. With no dedicated storage areas, it was not possible for Bega to store agricultural products at the port, so grain was exported through other Baltic facilities. Bega had little flexibility in the way it operated, and it needed to

build a modern terminal to allow it to expand and offer first-rate bulk handling and storage options to its customers. Now, following the construction and commissioning of its new terminal complex, Bega can handle the multi-modal export and transit flow of agricultural products and can store significant amounts of bulk agricultural commodities in order to respond to favourable market conditions. The design and equipment specification for a new terminal of this complexity is absolutely critical and Bega turned to Siwertell to ensure that there were no mistakes. “We invited our partner Siwertell to help us by designing and

The picturesque Lithuanian city of Klaipéda is situated on the estuary of the Dané River, right at the point where it flows into the Baltic Sea. It is the third largest city in Lithuania and its port has always been of great importance to Baltic seaborne trade, partly due its status as the foremost ice-free port in the Eastern Baltic. Today, Klaipéda is one of the busiest and most significant ports in the region, handling ever increasing volumes of cargo. Bega, established in 1992, is a major stevedoring company operating in the port of Klaipéda. The company also provides forwarding, agency and logistic services. Bega’s terminal handles more than five million tonnes of cargo each year and specialises in the handling and storage of liquid and dry bulk cargo, such as agricultural products and fertilisers. Dry fertilisers account for the greatest volumes; Bega’s main clients are fertiliser producers from Russia, Belarus and Lithuania. In addition to dry and liquid fertilizers and agricultural products, the company also handles oil, crushed stone, cement and other dry cargoes.

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constructing our new facilities,” says Bega’s Technical Director, Laimonas Rimkus. In line with the design brief, the new terminal has more than doubled Bega’s cargo handling capacity to five million tonnes per year and significantly improved its potential for handling agricultural products. Mr Rimkus explains how Bega has benefited since its new terminal was commissioned. “Thanks to the terminal’s rail loading and unloading station, we no longer have to store bulk material for export in railway wagons, as we were forced to do in the past. The powerful new Siwertell cargo handling equipment means we can load large vessels directly from rail wagons and from the warehouses.” This means that rail wagons are used more efficiently; loaded wagons arriving can be discharged into the storage facility and then loaded with an onward agricultural cargo. Mr Rimkus says it is no longer necessary for Bega to limit its agricultural operations to a particular season, which is normally the case for grain export. “Now that we have the capacity to store agricultural products in our warehouses, the terminal will be in active use throughout the year, meeting the fluctuating market demands for grain, soybean meal and other feed derivatives.” He says the terminal’s built-in functional flexibility allows Bega to provide all the functions of a hub-port; it can re-distribute large quantities of bulk material from vessels such as post-Panamax type bulk carriers, not only by road and rail, but also by smaller vessels covering the Eastern Baltic region. Customers appreciate the improved service and it saves them money. The Siwertell designed Bega complex includes two linked warehouses with a total floor area of 20,000m2 and a storage capacity of 160,000m3. To segregate the different types of cargo, the warehouses are divided into eight compartments. A covered loading and unloading station for rail wagons and road transport is linked to the warehouses. Agri-bulk cargo arriving at the terminal by rail wagons or trucks is tipped into four underground receiving hoppers. The four hoppers are served by two separate intake lines – each with a capacity of 500 tonnes/hour – so two types of cargo can be received simultaneously. The bulk material is conveyed to one of the eight compartments in the two warehouses by fully automated overhead belt conveyors, according to a sequence set by the operator in the control room. Mr Ojeda notes that the terminal is very flexible, and can also receive many types of bulk cargoes arriving by sea. Bulk material arriving in this way is transferred, via a rail-mounted travelling hopper, to an underground conveying line with a capacity of 1000 tonnes/hour. The cargo can be conveyed directly to the two warehouses at full conveying capacity. Alternatively, part of the cargo can be conveyed to one of the warehouses while the remainder is sent simultaneously to the rail wagon and truck loading station.

Using facilities more efficiently

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Weighbridges are installed at all the cargo intakes. The cargo conveying alternatives do not end there, however. “Bega also has the option of transferring cargo directly from the intake to a ship,” says Mr Ojeda. “This is a very useful capability for small quantities of special materials that do not require intermediate storage. And of course it can also be useful if the warehouses are full.” Bulk material stored in the warehouses can be conveyed to the Siwertell ship loader on the jetty via belt conveyors, or to the combined rail/road loading station for transfer to rail wagons or trucks. This is achieved by means of pay loaders working inside the warehouse, feeding the bulk material onto one of two underground conveyor systems with capacities of 1200 tonnes/hour and 500 tonnes/hour. The larger system is used for cargo to be loaded onto ships; the smaller one is used for cargo heading for overhead buffer bins installed in the loading station for rail wagons and trucks. Cargo being conveyed to the shiploader on the jetty is weighed by a hopper scale installed in a separate weighing tower. Ships of up to about 70,000 dwt can be loaded at a rate of 1200 tonnes/hour by the rail-mounted ship loader. A system of mobile conveyors serves the ship loader, allowing loading at any position along the length of the vessel. A travelling belt conveyor transfers material from the pier conveyors to the loader. As part of the infrastructure necessary to handle the massively increased cargo throughput, an additional Siwertell ship loader, capable of handling Panamax vessels at 1200 tonnes/hour, was installed on a new jetty, where vessels can also be unloaded using a mobile harbour crane. Mr Ojeda says the Bega terminal is an excellent example of the way in which Siwertell uses its comprehensive market leading understanding of cargo flow solutions in combination with its tried and trusted hardware to deliver solutions that exactly meet customers’ needs. “Our customers operate in competitive markets; when it comes to major investment in new projects, they need be absolutely certain that the company they turn to for the design and supply of hardware will do the necessary research and planning to ensure that the solution works well right from the start. “At Cargotec, we put in an enormous amount of work before breaking any ground to ensure that we produce a Siwertell design with the reliability and flexibility to maximise a terminal’s operational capabilities and efficiency.” Cargotec offers bespoke Siwertell solutions for all types of terminals; handling virtually any dry bulk material. They are designed – in consultation with the customer – to provide facilities that exactly meet their specific trading requirements; consideration can also be made for future expansion and changes in trading patterns. Terminal design incorporates engineering solutions and equipment such as ship loaders and unloaders across a wide span of capacities, storage systems, cargo weighing systems, loading and unloading stations for trucks and rail wagons, along with conveying systems employing belts and horizontal and vertical screw conveyors. The integrated systems are controlled automatically or semiautomatically, minimising personnel requirements.

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