MoorMaster™ automated mooring goes Dutch

Earlier this week, our first automated mooring application in the Netherlands took shape, as two MoorMaster™ units were delivered and carefully lowered into position at Port Den Helder.

The units will be used by two TESO passenger ferries on the Den Helder-Texel Island route. With a length of 130m, the ferries can hold up to 300 cars and some 1,750 passengers.

In position: MoorMaster™ MM400 units at Den Helder

In position: MoorMaster™ MM400 units at Den Helder

The MoorMaster™ units will enable ships’ engines to idle during each 10-minute boarding process. Previously, the ships’ engines were used to hold the vessels in position. With some 6,000 port calls made on the route annually, MoorMaster™ will reduce emissions and fuel costs substantially. 

You can find out more in our original media release about this project here; and you can see more images from the delivery and installation of the units here.

MoorMaster™ holds ships in place securely with remote controlled vacuum pads, and moors and releases vessels in seconds, compared to anything up to an hour using conventional mooring. You can see the system in operation at a similar ferry application in Denmark, (and at a bulk handling berth in Australia), here.


Automated mooring and shore power: a world first

As we announced back in the summer, our automated mooring technology, MoorMaster™, will be integrated with another of our innovations – Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) – to create a single system that will first moor and then connect a passenger ferry to electrical power to charge its batteries.  

Image courtesy of Norled

Image courtesy of Norled

We’ve supplied MoorMaster™  units to ports and locks all over the world – Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Oman for example; and we’ve pioneered innovative AMP systems that are used across Asia, Europe and North America. But we’ve never integrated both technologies for the same application.

“This has never been done before: an integrated system that incorporates mooring and shore power connection with this degree of automation is entirely unique,” says Sofus Gedde-Dahl, Managing Director of Cavotec Norge A/S.

The integration of the two technologies will ensure the safe and quick mooring of the vessel, and the charging of its  batteries, while passengers and cars disembark and board the vessel in just ten minutes.

The 80m-long ferry  a battery-powered catamaran operated by Norled and due to enter service in 2015  will carry around 120 cars and 360 passengers, and will make 17 crossings of the Sogne Fjord between Lavik and Oppedal in Norway daily.

The MoorMaster™ units will be operated by our hand-held radio remote controls used by the ship’s captain from the bridge of the vessel.

Once secure, the mooring system will signal to the shore power unit, and a laser sensor will then guide an electrical connector to a hatch in the side of the vessel, connect to the ship’s battery and start charging.

Mooring ships at the touch of a button

MoorMaster™ is a vacuum-based system that eliminates the need for conventional mooring lines. Remote controlled vacuum pads recessed in, or mounted on the quayside or pontoons, moor and release vessels in seconds.

Since its introduction in 1998, it has performed more than 70,000 mooring operations (as at August 2013) at passenger ferry, bulk and container handling, Ro-Ro and lock applications all over the world.

Given the possibilities that this uniquely innovative application offers automation applications globally, we certainly hope to see more hushed, seamless ferry services plying not just the fjords of Norway, but anywhere where ports want safe, smooth, efficient and sustainable operations.

Port Hedland MoorMaster™ Update

MoorMaster™ units poised for mooring at Port Hedland's Utah Point multi-user berth.

Commissioning of the 14 MoorMaster™ MM200B (bulk) units at Port Hedland in Western Australia is proceeding smoothly, with full hand-over expected in the coming weeks. On September 29, the 225m iron carrier Huang Shan Hai was successfully moored and held without ropes. The operation was covered by the local North West Telegraph newspaper.

MoorMaster™ is a vacuum-based automated mooring technology that eliminates the need for conventional mooring lines. Remote controlled vacuum pads recessed in, or mounted on, the quayside, moor and release vessels in seconds. The system offers improved safety, infrastructure savings, improved turn-around times and reductions in emissions.

The PHPA’s MoorMaster™ units are built to withstand the especially harsh operating environment at the port. Not only will the units face abrasive iron ore dust and falling rocks, during cyclone season, which runs from November to the end of February, seawater spray and winds will regularly blast the systems at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 kph).

Port Hedland’s iron ore facility is particularly exposed: situated directly on the mouth of a tidal inflow area, with tides ranging up to five metres. While the systems will not be required to moor vessels during cyclones, the systems will be able to compensate for the port’s exceptional changes in tide levels.

All secure: a third vessel moors at the Utah Point berth.

In a similar application, we are currently installing eight MoorMaster™ units for Hammersley Iron Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto, at the Port of Dampier, also in Western Australia. The units will serve the Dampier Fuel Wharf, located on the eastern end of the Parker Point ore wharf. Each unit will have a capacity of 20 tonnes, and will complete vessel mooring in less than 30 seconds and disengage in less than 10 seconds.

MoorMaster™ is also in use at Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway, on RoRo ferry routes run by Searoad Shipping Australia and Toll in New Zealand, at the APM Terminals container facility at the Port of Salalah in Oman, and on three high frequency fast ferry routes in Denmark, operated by Nordic Ferry Services A/S.