Fairport ‘ploughs’ Forward

New in-line plough at ABP’s Port of Immingham diverts contaminated coal to a recovery compound and pays for itself within 18 months.

Stopping a Panamax dry bulk carrier discharging up to 80,000 tonnes of coal weighs heavy on the minds of any port operations team. Especially so when it cannot be predicted how many times metal contaminant will be found in a consignment. To date safe removal has typically been done by stopping the ship off-loading process to manually remove rogue metal resulting in up to several hours of delay before ship off-loading can continue.

Staff at ABP’s Humber International Terminal in Immingham wanted to offer a better customer service through improved coal offloading reliability and approached Fairport Engineering to design a simple automated solution to increase productivity using a continuous offloading process.

Fairport’s proposal was deceptively simple; first detect the metal contaminant, then using an in-line plough divert the contaminated coal in real time into a separate compound for manual separation. Shut down to manually remove metal is avoided.

Once ABP had given the go ahead the solution took only four weeks to design and procure then just a week to commission. ABP Engineering Manager Humber, Mr Sean Blissett said, “We were hugely impressed with the simplicity of Fairport’s solution and their trouble – free commissioning. The in-line plough is expected to pay for itself within 18 months and significantly reduce portside demurrage risk.”

The key benefits are:

• Unique on-line metal removal
• Easy to retrofit
• Conveyor does not need to stop
• Easy-to-find metal contaminents diverted into a designated compound area
• Ship unloading operation does not need to stop
• No losses in operator man hours trying to find the metal contaminant
• Can be used for material/product directional flow changes
• Cost effective solution with limited need for spares and maintenance
• Pays for itself in 12 – 18 months

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