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Kocks Ardelt cranes for British Steel in Immingham

Delivery of three Tukan K 3000 unloaders from Kocks Ardelt Kranbau is going ahead at Immingham Bulk Terminal.

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A Kocks Ardelt Tukan K 3000 operated by Voestalpine in Portland, Texas
A Kocks Ardelt Tukan K 3000 operated by Voestalpine in Portland, Texas

Kocks Ardelt Kranbau has confirmed that it will deliver three new rail-mounted cranes to British Steel (BS) for operations at Immingham Bulk Terminal (IBT) in the UK. The order was confirmed following the successful takeover of the steel manufacturer by Jingye Group.


The new Ardelt cranes double level-luffing cranes will replace the two gantry grab unloaders that have been operating at IBT since the 1970s. IBT was regularly handling 1 Mpta of raw materials.


The new Ardelt Tukan K 3000s cranes have a capacity of 50t in grabbing mode and an operating radius designed for Capesize vessels. The materials imported at IBT – iron ore fines and lump material, iron ore pellets and coal – will be handled with a mix of grabs from 13 m3 to 33 m3, with peak handling rates of up to 2,000 tph.


It needs to be pointed out that this order was first reported in May last year. As we reported at the time, the order was placed by Associated British Ports (ABP), which had taken over IBT from BS in November 2018.


However, about the same time as the order was announced, BS went into liquidation, placing the future of IBT in doubt and the contract between ABP and Kocks Ardelt was suspended. But in March this year, BS was acquired by Chinese steelmaker Jingye. On the back of Jingye’s investment commitments, BS took back control of IBT from ABP in August.


Fortunately for Kocks Ardelt, Jingye agreed to proceed with the IBT investment plan and the order was novated to BS.


The cranes are now in production. They will be assembled in Germany and will arrive at the end of 2021, as opposed to the original planned delivery date (to ABP) of end-2020.


The Tukan K units will be lifted over the conveyor system onto the crane rails by the cranes on the heavy lift ship delivering them. There will be a short final commissioning and testing phase before they go into full operation in early 2022.


Mark Reardon, managing director of Kocks Ardelt in the UK, said that BS, like ABP, is convinced that the Tukan K, with its built-in hopper, double jib system and linear load path, is the right solution for IBT.


“The Ardelt cranes were selected for the best overall return on investment factoring in design, performance, maintenance and redundancy,” said Reardon.


“The performance of the three cranes will ensure a faster through the ship discharge rate and quicker vessel turnarounds, than the two existing unloaders, whilst giving added redundancy for the operation.


“Maintenance of the cranes was a significant driver in the selection process. The cranes have all-electric drives, with no hydraulics on board. Maintenance intervals are set at 800-1,000 hours and maintenance can be carried out simply with minimal labour requirement.”


A special feature is the design of the rope system, giving the customer extended lifetime and considerably lower running cost. The cranes will also use the latest technical advances in dig depth optimisation, a system designed by Ardelt engineers to ensure continuous peak performance and eliminate inefficiencies during the duty cycle.


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