Efficient spreader reduces eco-impact

revolving spreader The spreader means that the copper concentrate avoids spillage, dusting and water contamination. Credit: APM Terminals Poti

APM Terminals Poti, Georgia has commissioned a new revolving spreader to load copper concentrate into bulk vessels, improve efficiency and minimise environmental impact during bulk cargo loading operations.

At the terminal, the revolving spreader attaches to a mobile harbour crane as a regular spreader does. The suspended spreader turns the container upside down and deposits the contents at the bottom of the vessel’s hold. As the product is loaded into the vessel, a hatch-mounted misting system prevents the copper dust from being blown away.

"With this solution, we have addressed the needs of our customer; enabling both sides to become more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Klaus Holm Laursen, managing director of APM Terminals Poti. “Furthermore, with the same equipment and infrastructure, we can now expand into a market with the potential for several million tons of bulk cargo.”

Regulation compliance

To reduce spillage and wastage before being transported to the terminal, copper concentrate is loaded in reinforced open top containers covered by a tarpaulin in a closed warehouse.

The overall process is compliant with all environmental, IMO and REACH regulations as the concentrate never touches the ground, avoids spillage, dusting and water contamination, said APM Terminals Poti. It also improves worker’s Health & Safety and significantly speeds up terminal and port operations and daily vessel loading rate.

There is also a clear cost and time saving. “At the traditional bulk facility, we were happy if they would load 5,000 tons in a day using three cranes. Today we experience loading of 10,000 tons in a day on a single crane,” explained Michael Mogilevsky, founder of Caucasian Metals Terminal, APM Terminals business partner in this operation.

“We are seeing not only more product actually being loaded with less environmental impact, but we are also experiencing a cost advantage on the number of days we need to charter the vessel," added Mr Mogilevsky.

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