The ship unloader will be able to handle 4,000 mt/h of iron ore or 2,240 mt/h of coal.

Tenova TAKRAF Italy has been awarded an 18-month turnkey contract by Italian steel producer ILVA S.p.A. for design and supply of a bucket-chain continuous ship unloader (CSU) for handling iron ore and coal at the ILVA steel plant in Taranto, Italy. This plant is the largest of its kind in Europe. The contract, according to the companies, builds on a long-standing business association between Tenova TAKRAF and ILVA of more than 40 years.

Following a devastating tornado that occurred in November 2012, ILVA initiated a plan for rehabilitation of facilities in Taranto; the new CSU was ordered as a consequence of this. The plan involves replacement of existing grab-type shipunloaders at the ILVA plant’s Pier II with modern bucket chain CSUs, which significantly reduce dust emission during the discharge cycle. A low environmental impact is a major concern, as the steel plant is close to the city area.

The new CSU will have an operating capacity of 4,000 mt/h for iron ore or 2,240 mt/h for coal and will be able to download vessels up to 150,000 dwt (deadweight tonnage). The CSU will be erected on the existing runways to feed the entire steel plant with coal and iron ore and pellets, together with the other machines at the plant.

“Tenova TAKRAF’s involvement with this important client dates back to the 1970s, at which time Tenova TAKRAF was known as Italimpianti,” said Alberto Dardano, managing director of Tenova TAKRAF Italy. Italimpianti at that time supplied the grab ship unloaders that will be replaced in this new project. In 1999, Tenova TAKRAF also supplied a CSU for Pier IV and an additional large grab unloader for the same Pier in 2009.

Tenova TAKRAF developed its bucket chain CSU technology in the 1980s. Subsequent years have seen ongoing enhancement to the technology, with the most sophisticated part being the digging foot, for which the company holds the patent. To date, 15 CSUs have been supplied worldwide, including four CSUs recently supplied to Enel for Brindisi South and Torrevaldaliga North, in Italy.

TAKRAF said the new CSU in Taranto will be almost entirely manufactured by Italian companies and is expected to be operational in late March 2015.