Cavotec’s MoorMaster™ part of Port Hedland submission that wins Western Australia Engineering Excellence Award

Cavotec’s MoorMaster™ part of Port Hedland submission that wins Western Australia Engineering Excellence Award

We are delighted to report that Cavotec’s automated mooring technology, MoorMaster™, was a component in the Port Hedland Port Authority (PHPA) and Pinc Group’s successful entry for the 2011 Western Australia (WA) Engineering Excellence Awards.

The team’s Utah Point Multi-User Bulk Export Facility project won the Resource Development Category. This achievement highlights the engineering and environmental challenges tackled by the team at Utah Point. MoorMaster™ formed one of the many elements that went into making the entry a success against competition from larger, more established rivals.

The team’s success in the WA awards ensures the project will be in the running for the National Engineering Excellence Awards. The results of the national competition will be announced at a ceremony on November 23rd in the Australian capital, Canberra.

The Australian Engineering Excellence Awards celebrate engineering excellence by identifying, recognising and promoting excellence in engineering. Panels of leading engineers and state officials evaluate entries in several different categories. The Awards also provide peer recognition of engineering excellence and highlight the contribution of engineers to the economy, to the community and to the environment.

The Resource Development Category includes the mining, agriculture, processing, oil and gas, solar energy, wind and waterpower sectors, or any engineering project associated with the development and, or processing of minerals or natural resources.

All entries were required to demonstrate how their projects met a series of obligatory requirements such as occupational health and safety, sound engineering practices, originality and ingenuity, economic contribution, community benefit and sustainable development.

According to the formal submission document, specially designed “MM200B (Bulk) MoorMaster™ units built to withstand Port Hedland’s extreme tidal, heat and dust conditions have not only improved safety compared to traditional rope mooring, but reduced vessel capture, moor and release by approximately 2.5 hours per vessel.”

MoorMaster™ also fulfilled one of the Awards’ optional criteria: that of simplicity of the engineering solution. The technology revolutionises the centuries-old practice of mooring vessels using ropes. Instead, remote controlled vacuum pads recessed in, or mounted on, the quayside, moor and release vessels in seconds. MoorMaster™ has performed more than 40,000 mooring operations to date at bulk handling, ferry, Ro-Ro, container and lock applications worldwide.

Utah Point is located in the narrow neck of Port Hedland Harbour where passing vessels exert significant hydrodynamic interaction forces that act to suck vessels from their moorings. Port Hedland also experiences large tides (7.5 metres) that produce in excess of 2-knot currents, design wind speeds of 23 m/s (45 knots), fine iron ore dust issues and extreme heat (+45 degrees Celsius) conditions.

The PHPA contracted Cavotec to design and test 14 entirely new MM200 units capable of handling the large tidal ranges experienced at Port Hedland. Following its manufacture and successful testing, the technology went into service in 2010, since which time it has proved itself to be an effective and simple replacement of traditional rope mooring.

Cavotec is proud to be part of the Utah Point team on what is an exciting project that demonstrates what engineering excellence and the sharing of great ideas can achieve. We look forward to working with our partners at the PHPA in the future – and we wish the team further success in November.