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KPA acquires four eco hoppers aimed at improving cargo discharge rate

The four Eco-hoppers supplied by UK based Samson Heavy Materials Handling Ltd on the quayside after being discharged from the Ship. Photo by Hussein Abdullahi/KNA.

The  Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has acquired four state-of-the-art eco hoppers supplied by Samson Materials Handling Limited.

The new machines which will greatly improve cargo discharge rate at the Mombasa port are the first equipment of its kind in East and Central Africa region.

The rate of cargo discharge at the Port of Mombasa is expected to improve from the current 3, 000 tonnes per ship a day, to 10, 000 tonnes after the parastatal received four new eco hoppers.

TMEA has supported Port improvements, particularly in mitigation and adaptation to climatic change impacts through the Mombasa Resilient Infrastructure Programme (MRIP) which is financed fully by United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID).

The  MRIP is being implemented by KPA with other stakeholders as part of its efforts to curb pollution levels and enhance energy efficiency over the next three years.

The programme aims to transform the Port into a modern and competitive regional hub, which is more productive and efficient operations in a sustainable environment.

The  KPA Principal Corporate Communications Officer, Hajj Masemo said the successful delivery and discharge of the eco hoppers completes in part the implementation plan of the Green Port Policy developed and adopted in 2014/15.

He said the use of eco hoppers in handling dirty import cargos as clinker, coal and gypsum is chief among KPA initiatives in furtherance to stated corporate values.

“Their commissioning later in June 2018 will mark yet another breakthrough in improved service delivery, towards envisioned World class seaport status as the Authority endeavors to meet and exceed customer expectations” he said.

Over the past years, increased cargo volume was mainly driven by dry bulk cargo and conventional cargo types which posted notable increases cumulatively averaging over 20 per cent.

Volumes of containerized and liquid bulk cargoes increased marginally. The greater bulk of investments in specialised equipment have however been mainly in the containerized side of the business.

He said the arrival of the new eco hoppers demonstrate growing commitment to build deserved bulk cargo handling capacity with the enviable ice capping of environmentally friendly discharge of clinker, coal and gypsum.

“Needless to state, handling these particular imports means operating in a dusty atmosphere, hence management of fugitive dust is very important” noted Masemo.

He said the eco hoppers constitute an array of dust suppression measures, both at the intake area of the eco hopper itself and on a dusting system situated between the hopper and truck.

In departure from the conventional hoppers currently in use at the Port of Mombasa, eco hoppers are designed to preserve air quality by controlling dust particles blow by into the atmosphere.

The volumetric capacity of the eco hoppers is sufficient to act as surge storage in the logistical process of discharging specified bulk cargoes from ships.

To limit dust emission, each eco hopper is fitted with wind walls to minimize dust generated when grab opens and squared dimensions allow grab open completely inside it.

The eco hopper suction system features a fully integrated dust filter unit on three sides of the hopper.

It includes automatic reverse-jet cleaning system, compressor to provide the necessary flow rate and pressure for the filtering element cleaning system and inlet grill with suction capacity.

1m2 opening in flex-flap system at the centre of the hopper allows active air stream. Multiple dust collection units are installed around the wind wall for return of collected dust into hopper.

The dusting system between the eco hopper and the transporter’s truck, involves cargo discharge from the hopper by gravity, whereby the chute is designed to reduce the cargo falling speed and minimize mouth dust blow by.

The state-of-the-art eco hoppers are mobile power-driven units with crabbing functionality to enable specific positioning of the hoppers alongside the ship.

By  Hussein  Abdullahi

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