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Greek owners opt for electrically operated hatch covers

Written by Nick Blenkey

Mac RackSEPTEMBER 5, 2013 — Five 180, 000 dwt bulk carriers being built by Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea will use environmentally-friendly electric-drive systems to operate their MacGregor side-rolling hatch covers.

Each hatch cover panel is operated by an electrically-driven MacRack unit that lifts the panel up and rolls it to its open, stowed position in 2.5 minutes

The ships are being built for Greek shipowners: two are for Quintana Shipping and the remaining three for Alcyon Shipping. The first vessel is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2014.

Each hatch cover panel will be operated by an electrically-driven MacGregor MacRack unit, which both lifts the panel up from its closed position and then rolls it away to its open, stowed position. The panels are automatically freed from their securing cleats as they are lifted. The overall operating time for one hatch is approximately 2.5 minutes.

Each MacRack unit is mounted at the associated longitudinal coaming, driving a pinion that engages with a rack fitted underneath the hatch cover panel. In the open position, panels are stowed on transverse ramps.  During the closing operation, the hatch covers are automatically cleated and made weathertight.

Automatic motor brakes prevent the panels from unintentional rolling at all stages of the opening and closing process.

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, says the order from the shipbuilder includes the design and supply of key components and the fabrication of the hatch covers.

“Technology that drives new standards of efficiency and minimizes environmental impact is an essential element of today’s market,” says Torbjörn Dahl, Senior Naval Architect for Bulk Ships at MacGregor. “The new orders demonstrate shipowners’ willingness to invest in this type of technology and they are a testament to the confidence these particular owners have in MacGregor’s ability to deliver this type of solution. We anticipate that MacRack will become the standard system for side-rolling hatch covers, making separate hatch cover lifters obsolete.”

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