$2M Tension Devices Give Exciting Opportunities For Port

Published: Wednesday, 5 July 2017 at 4:25:25 PM

Shore Tension Unit in GeraldtonAs previously reported Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA) has acquired four ShoreTension® units (STU’s) at a cost of approximately two million dollars. The STU’s will primarily be used on cruise vessels, however, when not being used on cruise vessels the STU’s will be made available to other commercial vessels (cattle, bulk cargo or break bulk cargo) calling into Geraldton Port.

Ordinarily a vessel without STU’s will move around while moored to a berth as a result of wind, swell or operations on the vessel resulting in the mooring lines becoming slack then tight and increasing the likelihood of snapping lines, which is a significant safety issue. To minimize this risk MWPA required vessels to vacate the harbour when weather conditions exceeded certain parameters thereby reducing efficiency, reducing berth utilisation and increasing costs to cargo and vessel owners.

The STU’s are a mooring solution designed to exert the same, constant tension to the ship’s mooring lines which reduces the changes in tension in the lines and minimizes vessel movement while at the berth. The constant tension in the lines and the reduced vessel movement allows vessels to be moored to a berth in conditions when they otherwise would have had to vacate the berth. Such an outcome results in increased efficiency, berth utilization and safety.

The surge problem in Geraldton Port presents difficulties for all vessels, but in particular livestock vessels. Smaller livestock vessels are very susceptible to movement due to surge; additionally they require their gangways to be very stable for the safety of the animals being loaded. During the trial of the STU’s on a cattle vessel, not only was it able to load cattle in conditions three times above what was previously possible but advice from seasoned cattle hands conducting the job was that they believed the upper limit could be even higher. On that occasion, the thousands of cattle, fodder and the trucks to deliver them would have required significant rescheduling had STU’s not been used.

The arrival and implementation of STU’s at the Port of Geraldton is going to present exciting opportunities for future trade at the Port and will strengthen economic development in the Mid West.

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