Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is planning to double the number of vessels being loaded with manganese in skiptainers in the Port of Port Elizabeth this month.
The export of the ore in skiptainers was initiated on December 13 last year.
TPT says in a statement that the skiptainer method was introduced after a request from Tshipi e Ntle Manganese Mining, which was “looking for alternative ways of loading manganese@.
Chief Planning and Logistics Manager: TPT Port Elizabeth Container Terminal Chadwick Jansen says the skiptainer method “has proved to be beneficial to both the company and the client in that it is a cost effective method, it is environmentally friendly and allows additional volumes to be exported”.
TPT is currently loading one vessel a month but is hoping to ramp this up to two vessels in January
The turnaround target time per vessel is set at 72 hours which was achieved with the last three vessels “as opposed to the first vessel which took up to six days to load.
“It takes approximately 1 482 skips to fill an average parcel size of a 40 000 ton vessel. Each skip weighs about 27 tons so it is important that the team works efficiently and distributes the weight equally”.
Operations Manager at the Container Terminal Amanda Ben Mazwai says that the target was set at 15 skips an hours, which was not being reached at the start of operations when the average was between 10 and 12.
“Now we are reaching 21 to 24 skips an hour,” she says, adding that the skiptainer project has resulted in maximising productivity.
Jansen states that with the improved performance potential clients have “shown interest in the skiptainers method”.
TPT stresses that ensuring health and safety “remains a priority,” adding that tests are carried out on the team involved in operations every six months “to evaluate the manganese levels in their systems”.
The Port Elizabeth Container Terminal is the first to use the skiptainer method in the country to load manganese, with Australia being the only other country where this method is used, in that case for loading coal.
“Article published from Metro Minutes by Patrick Cull”.