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Thread: Torit DCE Australia Cleans Up Dust in Port Kembla

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    Torit DCE Australia Cleans Up Dust in Port Kembla


    The unloading of bulk materials by Stevedores and Port Operators in Australia has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years as State regulatory bodies seek greater compliance with the legislation governing the protection of the environment.

    In an industry that is highly competitive, finding cost effective ways of fulfilling environmental responsibilities has become a critical success factor for many stevedores involved in bulk cargo unloading.

    Two months ago, P&O Ports acquired the former company, Port Kembla Stevedores, which had the contract with Morgan Cement to unload cement clinker at Port Kembla. P&O also purchased the two hoppers operated under licence by Port Kembla Stevedores in the unloading process. Of importance in this regard was the need for P&O Ports to find a solution to dust containment of cement cargoes. Previous attempts made at reducing dust emissions through fitting tarpaulins top and bottom to the hopper, and later by using portable dust extractors, had failed to reduce dust emissions to levels acceptable to the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

    After viewing the success that P&O Ports had achieved in controlling dust emissions at their Newcastle operation by implementing a dust control solution from Torit DCE Australia, the EPA agreed that trials to unload cement clinker should continue at Port Kembla if a similar system was employed there.

    In charge of overseeing the retrofitting of the hoppers at Port Kembla was Mohamed Dowidar, P&O’s New South Wales Engineering Manager. Dowidar was the project manager for the installation of the dust control solution on the bulk unloaders at their Newcastle operation from the tendering stage right through to commissioning. The primary difference between the two operations is that the Newcastle bulk unloaders are land based and mounted on rails, whereas the Port Kembla operation requires that ships have their own cranes to unload the cement clinker into the hoppers.

    “The decision at Port Kembla was based on our experience at Newcastle where we went through the rigorous process of tendering and soliciting bids for installation of the system,” explains Dowidar. “Thorough comparison and investigation between the different makes and brands available demonstrated that the Torit DCE option proved to be the most cost effective solution. It was quite noticeable the improvement we got at Newcastle so when it came to the installation at Port Kembla we were already quite certain as to what was required.”

    The EPA’s requirement for Port Kembla was that there be no visible dust outside of a 20-metre radius of the hopper. To achieve this each hopper was fitted with three Torit DCE Dalamatic Insertable dust control units, as well as a flex flap system at the top of each hopper to help maintain the vacuum necessary for the units to work effectively. Retractable truck loading spouts with dust extraction capability were also fitted to each hopper allowing dust to be piped back into the collectors. As Dowidar explains, the whole system was designed to eliminate waste residue and build up of product by ensuring that all product goes back into the main hopper, and then back into the product stream.

    The Port Kembla Port Corporation’s General Manager, Commercial & Engineering, Andrew Dunne, and a representative from the EPA inspected the first shipment of cement clinker to be unloaded once the dust control system had been installed and they were impressed with the results. “I noticed a significant improvement in the level of dust emission compared to the level of emission prior to the hoppers being fitted with the dust control units,” comments Dunne.

    Torit DCE’s Engineering Manager Ken Rose conducted much of the engineering design work on the system and explains that the Dalamatic’s ability to filter high dust concentrations, continuously, at high filtration velocities and constant levels of resistance made it the perfect dust control solution for the application.

    “Once the ships arrive in port there is real pressure to get them unloaded as quickly as possible so P&O Ports needed a dust control system that could handle being operated anywhere from two to seven days straight, 24 hours a day, without the need for maintenance or bag changes,” says Rose.

    Rose explains that to allow the continuous operation of the Dalmatic dust control system the filter pads are regularly cleaned by an automatic pulse of compressed air. This short burst of air, injected down the inside of the filter pad, temporarily reverses the airflow, inflating the bag and dislodging any dust build-up. The residue is then removed by the mechanical impact of the filter fabric contacting against the supporting insert. The dislodged dust then falls into the collection hopper for final removal or return to the process.

    The efficiency of the Torit DCE Dalamatic dust control system does not however rest entirely on the design of the equipment’s mechanics as Rose points out, but equally upon the quality of the filter media. “The Dalamatic is fitted standard with high efficiency media (RN487‰), which makes collection efficiencies exceeding 99.9% achievable in most applications.”

    In his role as P&O Ports New South Wales Engineering Manager, Dowidar is responsible for overseeing the ongoing servicing of the dust control system and has contracted the services of a local engineering company to conduct the prescribed scheduled maintenance.

    “Other than the prescribed scheduled servicing, which is critical to ensure continued optimised performance, the entire system is practically maintenance free,” comments Dowidar. He continues to explain that the periodic servicing of the equipment involves checking that the dust control unit fans are operating effectively, the suction blades are in good condition, and that the negative vacuum necessary for efficient operation hasn’t been compromised by any leaks in the body of the units. Checks are also conducted on the hoppers to ensure that the hydraulic systems for operating the gates and the truck loading spouts are working effectively.

    For further information about Torit DCE’s range of dust control solutions for Bulk Hoppers please contact Doug Freeman on 0412207909.

    Figure legend:
    P&O Ports Cleanup after Torit DCE's involvement
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