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Containerised bulk handling at Riga

Portek-operated Riga Universal Terminal (RUT) in the Latvian seaport of Riga has begun operating a RAM Revolver container tippler spreader from RAM Spreaders.

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RAM’s Revolver container rotating system in action
RAM’s Revolver container rotating system in action

The new system, using containerised bulk handling and then tipping the contents into the holds of bulk carriers, is claimed to quadruple productivity of biomass loading.

Demand for biomass has been increasing, and RUT has been handling growing quantities of sunflower pellets, wood pellets and wood chips, but was looking for innovative ways to cope with the demand, while still being cost-competitive.

When considering the different options available, the operator had thought about buying a new materials handler, costing in the region of €1.3M, as well as possibly having to sell one of its existing Liebherr MHCs, in order to buy a bigger and more expensive crane.

The RAM Revolver was recommended by Liebherr’s local service partner Alfis and the sales agency Intersafe Marine. In this case, the RAM Revolver is attached to a Liebherr MHC.

The materials handler first considered by RUT had an estimated throughput of 200 tph, while containerised bulk handling with the RAM Revolver allows for highcapacity loading of up to 45t per cycle, according to material density, and has achieved 800 tph. Utilising the existing Liebherr MHC and skilled operators, RUT projected 30 cycles per hour.

The RAM Revolver is widely used in Australia and Latin America, but RUT is the first customer in Europe. The system, with the special high capacity containers with tipping lids, has been in service for several months, and operations are being ramped up. The terminal handles around 1 Mtpa of wood pellets, 0.5 Mtpa of wood chips, and 0.1 Mtpa of sunflower pellets.


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