Eastland Port has invested $1 million in new technology to reduce wharf-side vessel movement helping ensure the safety of linesmen, shore personnel, the vessel, and the port itself.
The new ShoreTension mooring system arrived on July 24 and with the help of experts from the company that made it, was used to moor ships a day later.
Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum says the investment is safety driven.
“There are significant risks associated with mooring and maintaining vessels in port during adverse weather and when there are long-period waves. Disruptive wave patterns in the harbour can have the effect of moving ships alongside the port and once ships start moving the momentum is extremely dangerous for staff, the vessel and shoreside infrastructure.”
Several different mooring arrangements and technologies were considered with the ShoreTension mooring system the most preferred,” says Mr Gaddum.
Veteran linesman Winston Wanoa works for Right Track Security Services at Eastland Port. He and 11 linesmen and women perform the technical and challenging job of tying ships up alongside the wharf.
He says ships have always needed at least four mooring lines from the shore, and it could take up to two hours to moor one ship. Now ships need just one ShoreTension mooring line run from the shore.
“With a bit more practice it will take only half an hour to moor a ship. It’s the most significant leap forward in technology I’ve seen during my time and it’s much safer for everyone.”
Mr Wanoa says it’s the differences in tension between the different mooring lines which cause a ship to move, and then potentially a mooring line to snap.
“The ShoreTension system can hold 60 tonnes although today with the Alam Seri we needed only a 15-tonne hold,” adds Mr Wanoa.
ShoreTension expert Herme de Graaf flew from the Netherlands to oversee installation and staff training at Eastland Port. He says there are 100 ShoreTension units being used in ports around the world including eight in Taranaki.
The ShoreTension dynamic mooring system generates a constant tension on mooring lines and dampens down the motion of the vessel.
“When the rope tension exceeds a pre-set limit, the ShoreTension system pays out. After the peak loads are over, the ShoreTension system heaves in the line using the energy previously stored to bring the vessel to its initial position.”
“Eastland Port’s ShoreTension units have been fixed to existing bollards on Wharf Eight. To activate the system the units are extended with a hydraulic powerpack. A line is fed to the ship, then fed back through the snatch block to the ShoreTension unit. Both the units are activated simultaneously to the desired tension,” explains Mr de Graaf.
Vessel movement and line tension can be monitored on a phone.
In other port news, this July 239,399 tonnes of wood was loaded onto 10 log vessels falling short of the expected 284,000 tonnes on 14 ships because of bad weather and wave delays. August vessel bookings are already full and stock on port is at capacity.
Image caption: Linesman Winston Wanoa of Right Track Security Services, Patrick Boon and Herme de Graaf from ShoreTension in the Netherlands, and Eastland Port contracts project manager Mark Richards alongside the ShoreTension dynamic mooring system holding Alam Seri safely alongside Wharf Eight.
Image credit: Brennan Thomas, Strike Photography