Auto mooring to aid bulk congestion

10 Jul 2009

A piece of kit that could result in increased sailing windows at congested bulk ports is a new take on the humble mooring system, and Australia's Port of Hedland has been quick off the mark in adopting the technology.

The Pilbara-based port, which will expand its current capacity of 150m tonnes to 240m tonnes in the next three with the addition of four new berths, has installed 14 Cavotec MoorMaster 200B units to its Utah Point berth.

The mooring system is based on automated vacuum technology that moors vessels in seconds, eliminating the need for conventional mooring lines. Taking ten years to develop, the system is cited as counteracting vessel surge in port caused by the changes in wave dynamics.

Similar to current units in the MoorMaster range, the ones installed at the Port of Hedland will be able to secure a vessel in under 20 seconds, and release in less than seven seconds, speeding up the time it takes a vessel to ready itself for loading/unloading operations.

The 200B units are designed to handle any tidal level at the port, and moor vessels of up to 120,000dwt at 14m draught.

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