thyssenkrupp partners with National Ports on new Super Shallow Draft Bulk Carrier

  • Revolutionary transhipment bulk carrier will open up shallow ports worldwide
  • New system offers mining operators significant improvements in operational efficiency including materials handling speed at lower costs and reduced environmental risk

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, a leading partner for the engineering, construction and service of industrial plants and systems, has entered into a partnership with National Ports, a developer and operator of large-scale floating port and transhipment solutions, to make the operation of bulk ships and materials handling in shallow water ports around the world more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The cooperation aims at further developing and rolling out a new technology, the transhipment super shallow draft bulk carrier. This self-propelled vessel will open draft limited ports to far greater tonnages with no dredging and very limited capital expenditure.

Marco Lucido, Managing Director at National Ports:

“Our new solution will open up access to shallow loading and destination ports worldwide including those affected by large tides. The system will not only be able to significantly increase the cargo throughput for existing mining companies with limited draft, but it can also help to make new mining companies economically viable.”

The majority of global import and export ports for bulk material are geographically remote and not sufficiently dredged to handle modern bulk carriers. Such bulk carriers with a deadweight of 180,000 tons usually require a draft of about 19 meters including clearance under the keel.

Most ports have a draft of only 14 meters or even less. At the same time, dredging is very expensive and costs increase exponentially when dredging of hard materials is required, not forgetting its negative impacts on the marine environment.

With the new super shallow draft bulk carrier, thyssenkrupp and National Ports offer mining companies and port operators around the world a fast and efficient bulk material handling solution for shallow water ports. With up to 185,000 tons deadweight capacity on a 14 meter draft, the new system will be able to transit ports with limited water depth.

It will be capable of self-unloading its cargo at a rate of up to 10,000 tons per hour into any size bulk carrier (including the Valemax with a 400,000 deadweight tons capacity) or directly at the destination port in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

The new bulk carrier can be loaded from any ocean going vessel or directly from the land side via shore conveyors, thus limiting the capital expenditure for new port infrastructure. Mine and port operators can charter the system on a per ton basis.

Dr. Franz-Maria Wolpers, Senior Executive within the Mining Technologies business unit of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions:

“We are delighted to be helping our clients to solve one of the most complex challenges they face, when operating in shallow, restricted and remote ports. In addition to opening up access to those ports the new system dramatically increases the rate of self-unloading into any type of bulk carrier or to the port of destination through a thyssenkrupp materials handling system. In cooperation with National Ports, we are thus offering mining companies and port operators worldwide significant improvements in operational efficiency including materials handling speed at lower costs and reduced environmental risk”.