Mechanical Projects Team Relocated 50 year old Shiploaders

SA Sugar Association

Lovemore Bros Mechanical Projects
Lovemore bros ship offloader

With a combined weight of over 260 tons, the Lovemore Bros Mechanical Projects team planned a 3 phase operation of relocating the 50 year old Shiploaders was carried out due to a major reconstruction of the sheet pile walls at Maydon Wharf. The 50 year old loaders, that have a maximum load rate of approximately 1000 tons/hour, were built in 1965 as part of the initial phase of the sugar terminals.

“It was never part of the original plan to move the shiploaders, however, following a last minute discovery in late 2014 that the ground beam on which the machines run required demolition in order to extract 100 year old wooden piles, the decision was made to relocate them to Maydon Wharf 3 for phase 1 of the project duration,” says Dylan Scott, Plant Engineer for South African Sugar Association. 

The first part of the impressive operation included pulling down the Shiploaders 7 ton chutes and carefully placing them on the floating crane so that they could be offloaded at the staging area where they will then be reconditioned.

The next part of the operation saw the Lovemore Mechanical Projects teams rigging down the 16 ton boom of each of the two Shiploaders using a floating crane where they were then also moved to the workshop staging area by the Lovemore Heavy Rigging team. Finally, the main structure was meticulously moved using a custom made push and pull system that saw the Lovemore team setting up temporary railway lines to move the 20 m high, 112 ton unit.

“On completion of the project the final berthing position will be 4m further out than the existing location a ship will berth during loading. The project follows with the modification of the loaders to sit on new bases that have a larger span. This will allow the loaders to be moved forward 4m and upwards 1.5m to maintain the ability to load vessels on completion of the berth upgrade,” says Dylan.