Vacuum systems increase market impact

08 Oct 2008

MM200C Salalah rendering

Vacuum mooring systems are now generating a lot of market interest and while the number of installed systems is a fraction of the overall market for bollards and quick release mooring hooks, a strong marketing push is being headed by Cavotec MSL.

Cavotec is celebrating securing its single-largest order and is now eyeing renewed market enthusiasm following the launch of its new-generation MoorMaster 200 vacuum-based automated mooring system. Competitors say that while vacuum systems are being marketed well, refinements of quick release hooks such as Harbour Marine's EasyMoor system allow a single operator to secure a mooring line safely and quickly and provide 95% of the benefits of a vacuum mooring system for a small fraction of the cost.

Nonetheless, Cavotec is having marked success with its product range. During extensive trials with APM Terminals (APMT) and the Port of Salalah in 2007, the technology consistently reduced quayside surge motion to less than 50 mm for all vessels in all conditions, compared with the potential three-metre surge expected with traditional mooring lines.

Given the large monsoon wind-generated wave surges experienced by the Oman port, the trials provided sufficient evidence for APMT to place an order for 12 of the new-generation units.

In a statement issued to Port Strategy, Cavotec MoorMaster managing director Peter Montgomery says the new technology - which is available in the MM200c variant for container ports and MM200b for bulk terminals - is highly flexible and can be incorporated into both new and existing terminals.

"Powerful, and yet remarkably compact, the latest versions of MoorMaster weigh less than three tonnes and can extend over two metres when attaching to vessels," he says. "The new MoorMaster is also more readily adaptable to a wider variety of hull forms and vessel types. The MM200c can be used to handle any class of containership - including the new PS-class of 11,000 teu vessels such as the Emma Maersk.

"Similar to the established MoorMaster range, the MM200 helps operators improve safety conditions for shore side and ship-based personnel by eliminating the need for heavy mooring ropes. The system also boosts productivity through dramatically improved turnaround times."

Cavotec MSL says it has maintained the same operating envelope and speed-of-attachment with the new-generation units, which are each capable of generating a mooring force of 200kN.

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