This marks the conclusion of a year-long, technically complex project whereby, early last year, SAL Heavy Lift first transported the shiploader from Abbot Point to New Port shipyard at Mokpo, South Korea, for refurbishment and upgrading, returning it to Abbot Point earlier this month.
The shiploader is owned and operated by the Adani Mining Company.
The project began when the shiploader was loaded at Abbot Point, in January 2013, by the SAL Heavy Lift Vessel (HLV) MV LONE. It was transported back this month on the MV SVENJA.
“A key point in this project was the difficulty of loading the shiploader from the jetty in open water at Abbot Point and returning it to the same position,” explained Justin Archard, managing director of SAL Heavy Lift, Singapore Pte Ltd and Australia Pty Ltd. “This was made complex by the big difference in height of the jetty above the water line and the height of the ship’s deck. It meant lifting the shiploader very high to achieve sufficient clearance. Issues of tidal range and vessel stability were instrumental in the planning stage.”
Prior to upgrading, the shiploader had been in service for 20 years. On the outward voyage to South Korea, the shiploader weighed 1,050 tonnes. Following its upgrade, its return weight was 1,250 tonnes due to steel and other material additions. Previously it was capable of loading bulk carriers at 5,000 tonnes per hour. It can now load at 7,000 tonnes per hour.