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Cargo Handling

In addition, one of the main rea-

sons for specifying a pipe conveyor in this application is the environmen- tal solution it provides for the trans- port of alumina, material that is very susceptible to dust pollution. BET was responsible for the sup-

ply of all of the engineering design drawings and proprietary and special- ised components, as well as for sup- plying the JPC’s Bridgestone belt. TMSA is responsible for manufacture of the structures and some mechani- cal components of the JPC, as well as the installation and commissioning under the supervision of engineering personnel from BET.

Two materials

Last year ThyssenKrupp Förder- technik (TKF) supplied and installed a pipe conveyor for Qatar Alu- minium at Mesaieed Industrial City, Qatar, in the Persian Gulf where the first aluminium smelter in the sheikhdom is currently being built. Once the final extension has been completed by the end of 2010, it will have the capacity to produce 600,000tpa of aluminium. The pipe conveyor is required to

handle raw materials, alumina powder and lumpy petroleum coke, both of which are delivered by ship. After these materials have been discharged by pneumatic unloader, the conveyor transports them over a distance of about 1km up to an elevation of 80m where they are loaded into storage silos. The conveyor, whose total installed power of three drive motors amounts to 1200 kW, has been designed for a capacity of 2000t/h. With a diameter of 590mm, it is one of the largest pipe conveyors to be built by TKF. Thanks to the choice of this pipe

conveyor, it has been possible to cover the transfer route from the material feeding point at the port to the off-line discharge point above the silo roof without the need for any transfer points. Furthermore, the three-dimen- sional curved path provides for a con- siderably steeper ascent gradient than could have been achieved with a tra- ditional troughing belt conveyor. Because of its ability to negotiate

both horizontal and vertical curves, this conveyor makes best use of the narrow strip of terrain which was available. Along its path it spans a public road and follows a narrow cor- ridor accommodating both gas and oil pipelines. The materials conveyed, both of

which are sensitive to wind and hu- midity, are protected inside the en- closed belt against all weather condi- tions and covers are only required at the head and tail sections where the belt needs to become open over a very short distance in both cases. In Janu- ary this year the conveyor successfully handled its first ship loads of alumina and petcoke. TKF is also currently installing two

pipe conveyors at the Qafco V plant owned by Qatar Fertiliser Co. and a further two TKF pipe conveyors are currently still at the design stage for Qafco VI.

Greater number

Although the enclosed pipe conveyor concept offers undeniable environ- mental advantages, there is still some way to go before there is any likeli- hood of it superseding traditional troughing-idler belt conveyors. Be- cause a greater number of idlers are required to maintain the travelling belt in its cylindrical shape, there is increased inertia which results in more power being absorbed per tonne of material conveyed, compared with conventional belt conveyors.

BMI March/April 2010

Association of Sea Commercial Ports

This higher energy consumption

becomes more marked when the belt is required to negotiate curves, ad- ditional power being consumed to change the material direction within the belt. However, it has been argued that although power requirement may be somewhat higher for a curved pipe conveyor when com- pared against a straight conventional conveyor of the same length, trans- fer points with associated additional lift requirements are eliminated. Consequently, when compared

with multiple-flight traditional belt conveyor systems where there is a requirement for additional horsepower to lift the material to achieve each

transfer to the next conveyor, the power requirements of the pipe con- veyor become comparable, and in some circumstances may even be less.

Suspended-pouch type

The more recently introduced sus- pended-pouch type conveyor is nor- mally more energy-efficient in this respect. For example, in the case of the EBS Conveyor manufactured by Enclosed Bulk Systems of the Neth- erlands under licence from Fenner Dunlop, power is applied by a multi- ple-drive system to the triangular- shaped rubber profiles of the belt’s outer edges, which serve both to close and support the belt by means of a

gallery of rollers which are mounted on brackets. Thanks to the multiple- drive arrangement, belt tension can be kept very low and because the belt has no need to be reinforced with steel cables, it can be easily repaired. Late last year Enclosed Bulk Sys-

tems completed installation of an en- closed EBS Conveyor at a steel plant in Taiwan which will be capable of transporting coal at up to 250t/h. The system is currently undergoing final commissioning trials. The customer was obliged to use an enclosed belt system for environmental reasons and had originally planned to install two pipe conveyors. However, this would have required two separate belts and

a transfer tower as well as a dedusting unit located at an elevation of some 20m. The EBS single belt system is

140m long and rises 41m over this comparatively short distance. An in- teresting feature is that drives are only required on the ascending stretch of the conveyor path, and on the return section the belt runs en- tirely under gravity. A further advantage of this type

of conveyor is that the belt tends to be self-cleaning as a result of being constantly flexed as it changes from its travelling pouch-shaped profile to becoming horizontal as it passes over the head drum. Consequently, belt scrapers are not required. 


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