The trade of cement and similar dry materials results in new ship capacities and an even bigger demand for ship conversions of conventional bulk carriers into specialized self-discharging cement carriers. Self-Discharging cement carriers do not require any shore based ship unloading equipment and discharge into a totally enclosed material handling system, using a fluidization floor system in the cargo holds for cement unloading. Up to now, the world fleet comprises about 300 units between 1,000 dwt and 60,000 dwt for seaborne cement transportation. Additionally, about 200 units smaller lake and/or river barges and ships of <1,000 dwt.
When do you consider a ship conversion or when do you decide to build a new cement carrier? This blogpost will look at the pros and cons of building a new Self-Discharging Cement Carrier or convert a bulk carrier into one.
New Build Projects
It is very convenient to equip a new ships hull with an bulk material handling system. Because of the close cooperation with the bulk handling supplier, naval architect and shipyard the equipment is integrated into the ship structure resulting in shorter suction distances and therefore less energy consumption. The ship’s main engines used for driving the propeller can power the generators for the unloading system while in port. The design procedure of the bulk handling system can be adapted to the building process and design. In cooperation with the stakeholders involved there is a wide range of configurations and material selection options possible. The owner can have a big influence on the access, inspection and maintenance. The cons of building a new ship is the longer procurement (design/build cycle) and the relatively high cost. So if you would like to have (as an ship owner) a lot of freedom of choice and influence on the operation, maintenance, efficiency of your ship and equipment (including the bulk handling system), then a new build will be the way to go for you.
Not all bulk handling solutions can be as easily implemented on board of an conversion project as on a new build project. Because of the fixed hull configurations of the existing bulk carrier, there is not much design flexibility. This does not mean that a conversion project of a regular bulk carrier into a Self-Discharging Cement Carrier isn’t a good idea. There are some considerations needed before starting a conversion project, because there are a lot of unknown items in respect to the start point of the project and the condition of the bought ship. Are there upgrades (structure and system) required? What are the compliance requirements? The complete scope of supply needs to be defined very carefully, it is therefore very important to work with experienced suppliers. Bulk Handling System are mainly suitable for conversion projects, if selected correctly! The correct bulk system require minimum changes to the ship structure. The fluidized floor is easily fitted onto the existing tank top and the remaining equipment is installed above deck level. The more equipment needs to be place below deck level the quicker the conversion process. Pros of an conversion project are the shorter procurement cycle and lower cost (purchase hull).
Would you like to know more about converting a existing ship into a self-discharging cement carrier? Are you interested to know which bulk handling system are suitable for conversion project? Then tell us your bulk handling project at http://www.lionbulkhandling.com/contact/ or leave a commence below at the comment section.