DemcoTECH: total materials handling solutions for the ports and terminals industries, Bulk Handling Today, October 2014

While the local South African materials handling market is not living up to its full potential, the rest of Africa is buoyant with international investment capitalising on the increased opportunities to develop projects in mineral-rich countries right up to north Africa. However, the continent’s mining industry is still plagued by logistical challenges, and there is an urgent need for infrastructure development programmes that include the building of ports and harbours, says Paul van de Vyver, DemcoTECH Engineering General Manager.

With extensive experience both in Africa and internationally, Johannesburg, South Africa based DemcoTECH Engineering provides its clients with bulk materials handling solutions, literally from run-of-mine tip to ship loading, including all conveyor options, stockyard equipment, design and simulation modelling.

“We provide the full range of state-of-the art technologies and design capabilities required to bring a project on stream, for the mining and for the ports and marine handling industry.

Offering its clients a complete service from conceptual design and feasibility studies through to design, implementation, and comprehensive aftermarket support, DemcoTECH Engineering is one of the few bulk materials handling specialists also able to provide a full suite of operational readiness services. These services encompass the development of the procedures, systems and workplace tools required to successfully operate and maintain a new or upgraded plant.

“The Operational Readiness Packages cover all phases of the project lifecycle to ensure lower asset lifecycle costs as a result of more efficient maintenance and operational readiness activities, supported by a capable workforce,” adds van de Vyver.

As a contractor on one of the world’s largest iron ore distribution centre projects to date, DemcoTECH Engineering not only provided materials handling engineering and support services, but also separately provided operational readiness services, including the preparation of operational and maintenance manuals and training modules.

Vale’s project in Lumut, Perak, Malaysia, includes an ore storage yard and a marine terminal capable of handling more than 60 million metric tonnes per year, receiving iron ore from Vale’s mines in Brazil for distribution to customers across the Asia Pacific region. Work started on the facility in 2010 and the first two 400,000 DWT vessels carrying ore to the Malaysian Terminal were off-loaded early in 2014.

“This engineering support we provide included the conceptual design of the terminal, performing dynamic analysis audits on the high-capacity conveyors, detailed engineering analysis and audits on the port and yard machines on behalf of our client,” notes van de Vyver

DemcoTECH Engineering’s track record in Africa in the ports and terminals industry ranges from concept and feasibility studies, such as that carried out for an iron producer in Africa, covering the optimum layout of the materials handling at the port as well as the development of an export jetty and berths, to execution projects for South Africa’s major shipping and logistics company, Grindrod Terminals.

Responsible for the design and installation of the materials handling portion of the expansion to Grindrod’s multi product terminal at Richards Bay, DemcoTECH Engineering provided all the materials handling plant to convey rock phosphate and coal, as well as other materials, from the three Richards Bay terminal sites: Navitrade, Kusasa and Valley.

The materials handling system at the Valley terminal site was an extension to plant supplied previously by DemcoTECH, which conveyed material from terminal conveyors to feed a single warehouse. The expansion extended the lead conveyor to feed a choice of two other warehouses.

“DemcoTECH Engineering offers specialist expertise in pipe conveyors, which was applied on this project,” adds van de Vyver. “The pipe conveyors were installed into cost-effective tubular triangular gantries, which allowed mobile maintenance trolleys to be fitted onto the gantries for access and maintenance purposes. “

“The potential conveying distances and carrying capacity of pipe conveyors have both improved significantly in recent years due to improved conveyor analysis capabilities and advances in component design,” highlights van de Vyver.

For Grindrod’s Maydon Wharf terminal in Durban, DemcoTECH Engineering supplied a mobile ship offloading facility, together with a new warehouse distribution system for the fertiliser storage facility. The system replaced a trucking system and comprised four mobile, conveyors, stationed on the jetty at locations to suit the ship docking arrangements. Once the ships have been offloaded, the conveyors feed the fertiliser to a central pivoting and retractable boom conveyor. The existing warehouses were modified to incorporate reversible, multi-point discharge shuttle conveyors that feed individual bays.

“A very important feature to ensure optimum efficiency was the fully sequenced automatic starting and stopping of the systems, which ensures a seamless operation, with no blockages or hang-ups, and the ability to handle different types and grades of fertilizer,” says van de Vyver.

DemcoTECH Engineering has also designed sampling plants that enables exporters to have the physical and chemical qualities of ore products certified independently before they are loaded for export.

“We supplied such an iron ore sampling plant for the Saldanha iron ore terminal in South Africa for Kumba Resources, and later completed an upgrade to the facility.”

The upgrade converted the sampling plant from a mass to a time based system, which reduces bias in the selection of material sizes for sampling purposes. The turnkey upgrade project covered installation of new conveyors to feed the sampling plant, addition of load cells into the weigh hopper for more accurate readings and introduction of a two way splitter.

About DemcoTECH Engineering

DemcoTECH Engineering is a leading specialist in the bulk materials handling field, offering its clients a range of services from concept to full, turnkey project completion. DemcoTECH Engineering offers clients conveyor design through to turnkey supply and has completed the design and engineering of large import/export port facilities, gold plants, diamond tailings disposal systems, manganese storage and export facilities, sampling plants and a wide range of other projects including niche process plants.

Services include concept design, feasibility studies, detail design, engineering, procurement, expediting, construction and commissioning for a wide range of industries, including the power generation, cement, mining, metallurgy and manufacturing industries, as well as port facilities.

DemcoTECH Engineering offer a full range of materials handling products and solutions including troughed conveyors, pipe conveyors, air assisted AeroConveyors™, rail-mounted slewing stackers, pivot-boom conveyors and mobile conveyors.

Commissioning of mobile, tyre-mounted conveyors stationed on the jetty at Grindrod Terminal, Maydon Wharf, South Africa.

Grindrod Terminals – ship offloading system, Durban, South Africa

Vale port development, Malaysia