Bechtel proposes new port concept

By Chris Sleight28 August 2013

Bechtel’s senior ports specialist Marco Pluijm.

Bechtel’s senior ports specialist Marco Pluijm.

Bechtel has proposed a new design for ports based around an offshore hub for ocean-going vessels. It says the ability for large ships to unload their cargo at an offshore location could open new opportunities in Africa in particular, by increasing capacity and reducing port construction and operational costs.

Marco Pluijm, Bechtel’s senior ports specialist said, “This solution could provide a reduction of up to -40% in port infrastructure construction costs compared with building a traditional port and up to -50% in operational cost savings as the hub can handle much larger Capesize and Valemax vessels, which result in economies of scale.”

Bechtel’s multi-user offshore hub concept is designed for two or more vessels and consists of an offshore terminal and docking system that can accommodate oceangoing vessels. Goods would then shipped to coastal or river-based transfer points using barges.

“As existing African ports become more and more congested, increased capacity is an urgent need for both the import of consumer goods and the export of minerals. Each requires out-of-the-box solutions to handle as many containers as efficiently as possible and to speed the provision of new mineral export facilities to enable the region to develop its economy,” said Mr Pluijm.

Bechtel has built more than 80 port and marine projects across the world, 28 in the last decade. These include Khalifa port in the UAE, which has the first semi-automated container terminal in the Middle East.

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