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A helping hand

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Dry Bulk,

Concerns about food security due to an increasing population, along with a growing need for better field productivity, are primarily driving growth in the fertilizer market. Rising consumer awareness for healthy food and product innovation, involving micronutrients and a multifunctional approach, may add further opportunity for the sector. Global trade of fertilizer is highly concentrated: 50 – 80% of total fertilizer production capacity is handled by five main countries. Asia-Pacific, with its thriving economies and rapidly expanding population, is expected to experience the highest consumption of fertilizer from 2015 to 2020. South Asian countries, such as China and India, are currently major importers of fertilizers and are driving trade. Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America also provide great scope for growth.

Port handling operations

While in the past, environmental safeguards were not an issue, today ports worldwide consider the prevention of pollution a key objective. This is especially true for the import and export of dry bulk cargo, such as coal, grain, iron ore and fertilizer, etc., because of the risk of spillage and dust production. Problems can occur during loading and discharging operations, as well as when material is transferred to storage at the port. To achieve a reduction of emissions, the first step could be the use of environmentally-friendly bulk handling equipment. As a result of its R&D into green technology, Bedeschi Spa, a global supplier of crushing and handling machines for the cement and mining industries, steel factories, coal and others industrial processes, has been able to design and produce machines that incorporate sophisticated dust control measures and are able to reach the highest environmental standards.

Figure 1. 3D design of a shiploader slewing, luffing and travelling.

Focusing on fertilizer

Yara International is a key player in the fertilizer manufacturing industry. Bedeschi first began working with Yara in 2004. The company was contracted to supply a shiploader for Ravenna port in Italy.

Following this successful cooperation, Bedeschi provided additional shiploading technology to the Brunsbuttel and Le Havre ports. The following provides details on these recent projects.

Case study: Germany

In May 2016, Bedeschi was awarded a shiploader contract for Yara Germany, located in Brunsbuttel. The turnkey project included supplying engineering, construction, erection, commissioning and start-up of a shiploader that would replace the existing one.

The loading process

The installed shiploader moves along the quay on a portal travelling device and receives the bulk material (urea) from the tripper car on the fixed quay gallery belt conveyor. The portal travelling device has two groups of twin wheels located on its corners and runs on rails. The upper part of the portal is equipped with one transfer chain-conveyor that receives the material from the tripper car installed on the gallery quay conveyor and delivers it to the main chain conveyor installed on the boom of the shiploader. The portal screw conveyor is also equipped with a cartridge filter suitable both for the ducting of a transition point between the tripper and the portal chain-conveyor and to create a vacuum into the same screw conveyor. The slewing element of the shiploader consists of a rotating mast frame superstructure, a supporting luffing boom equipped with the main chain-conveyor and a telescopic and tilting loading chute.

Alternatively, the telescopic and tilting chute can be equipped with a launching belt or with a loading spoon. These two accessories allow an easy and optimal loading efficiency of both large vessels (up to 20 000 DWT) and barges.

On the top part of the slewable boom, another filter is installed, which is dedicated to the ducting of the telescopic loading chute, through two connections, functioning as an extraction system to create a vacuum into the holds of an ocean vessel.

The telescopic chute is operated by a cable winch for the vertical movement. The internal part of the chute is equipped with dedicated lined guide cones. The environmentally-friendly aim of the machine is achieved due to the completely closed chain-conveyor frames, which enable a reduction in noise emissions.

Shiploading is carried out by a combination of slewing, luffing-lowering and telescoping movements. All movements are controlled from the same control cabin by means of a PLC automation.

Advantages of using a telescopic chute with an extraction system

A telescopic chute is an ideal solution to prevent the problem of breaking particles and to minimise dust generation when loading bulk material. The design of a telescopic chute ensures that material particles are kept in mass flow form and at a low velocity. In fact, the internal lining of the module cones minimises the liberation of dust particles without affecting loading rates. The extraction system, represented by the top boom filters, guarantees a perfect vacuum into the vessel hold, preventing any dust emission.

Due to the minimal free-fall and the low velocity that the material experiences, material degradation is greatly reduced when loading sized product.

Case study: France

Bedeschi is currently manufacturing a raw materials handling machine for the new Le Havre port shiploader, which will be used by Yara France to unload urea. The contract is EPC based and includes commissioning and start-up activities. The shiploader is being designed for loading at a rate of up to 250 tph and vessels with a capacity of up to 20 000 DWT. The shiploader is a luffing and travelling type and equipped with the traditional belt conveyor boom. The machine will be installed in substitution of the existing one at the harbour terminal, located a few kilometres away from the Le Havre Yara plant, and will become the connection point for the final products' export operations. Commissioning of the machine is planned for the middle of 2016. This is the third project Yara has awarded to Bedeschi.

Going beyond shiploaders

As well as port projects, Bedeschi has also provided storage and handling solutions to fertilizer plants.

Gresik plant

In July 2012, Petrokimia commissioned Bedeschi to upgrade an existing fertilizer (KCL, UREA, ZA, NPK) handling plant. The stockpile has a length of 200 m, width of 50 m and storage volume of 50 000 t. A portal reclaimer with main and secondary booms had been installed with a reclaiming capacity of up to 1000 tph.

In 2013, the company supplied a circular rock phosphate storage facility as part of a revamp of a phosphoric acid plant. The storage volume was 103 000 t. The machine supplied had a stacking capacity of 1100 tph and a reclaiming capacity of 300 tph.

AT Bontang plant

In 2014, PT Krakatau Engineering awarded Bedeschi a contract to supply a urea bulk storage facility for AT Bontang plant. The supply consisted of a PAL PD reclaimer with main and secondary booms. The distance between rails is 47.4 m and the reclaiming capacity was up to 1000 tph.



Written by Pietro de Michieli, Bedeschi Spa, Italy, and taken from World Fertilizer November 2016. To read the full issue, register here.

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