26 April 2013
Bechtel is spearheading research into how mooring for large cargo ships off West Africa can be improved to ease exports.
It says heavy ocean swell, squalls and shallow water combine to make mooring risky, and wants to provide new guidelines and systems to improve shipping for the region.
"The conditions in West Africa make it difficult to export natural commodities in newer vessels that are larger than the Panamax, which could be more cost-effective for dry bulk transport companies," said Bechtel’s senior ports specialist, Marco Pluijm, who chairs the new joint-industry project.
"We will identify ways to mitigate the high downtime effects and provide innovative off-shore mooring solutions, to make it safer and more efficient for operators wanting to use Capesize vessels for dry bulk."
The three-year research project will involve data collection on the West Africa coast and in the Netherlands.