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Bulkers to have cranes with autonomous discharge feature

Written by Nick Blenkey
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MacGregor cranes will have an autonomous discharge feature

JUNE 28, 2017 – The two LNG-fueled handysize bulkers ordered by Finland’s ESL Shipping (see earlier story) will be fitted with MacGregor bulk handling cranes with an autonomous discharging feature.

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, and ESL Shipping have agreed to jointly develop and test the feature, which is designed to offer safety and efficiency advances.

“Autonomous crane operation improves efficiency and safety,” says Leif Byström, Senior Vice President, Cargo Handling at MacGregor. “Discharging operations can be monitored and controlled from the bridge and therefore eliminate the need for personnel in hazardous operational areas.”

“Our new environmental friendly LNG-fueled ships will be operated in very demanding trade with high number of voyages, port calls and crane operation hours annually,” says Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director at ESL Shipping. “Autonomous operation will further increase our competitiveness and offer our clients unforeseen efficiency and safety

“We are very excited about collaborating with ESL on this development project,” says Mr. Byström. “By combining the expertise of a forward-thinking shipowner and operator with our expertise in intelligent cargo handling, we can reduce unnecessary waste in the value chain and therefore develop safer and more efficient solutions for unloading bulk cargoes.”

The vessels are planned to enter service during the second quarter of 2018, when automation testing will commence.

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