Video: Port of Onahama Receives Giant Ship Unloader
This month, the heavy lift ship Happy Star transported a giant continuous ship unloader from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to Onahama, Japan. The unloader will allow the terminal to unload coal quickly and inprove turn times for arriving bulkers.
Continuous unloaders can help terminals handle bulk cargoes with a minimum of spillage, dust and noise, and they offer a high rate of speed compared with grab bucket unloading. They rely on a belt of digging buckets (a digging ladder) to pull cargo out of a barge or bulker.
The 1,500 tonne unloader was lifted on board in Kaohsiung using Happy Star’s two 900 tonne mast cranes. After a safe voyage, the unloader was discharged at a new receiving terminal in Onahama. During the lift, the unloader had to pass over the material handling conveyor belt system on the quay. Happy Star is one of a very few ships that could have made this move, as no other heavy lift vessel in the world is fitted with her particular type of high-lift, heavy load crane.
Happy Star last made the news in 2015, when she arrived in Rotterdam with 22 stock-built tugs and workboats for Damen. The vessels were built in Asian yards, and Happy Star picked them up at a sequence of port stops in Shanghai, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Singapore before transiting to Europe. It was the company's largest ever shipment of stock boats.