The installation marks the conclusion of a major 12-month project that saw SAL transport the ship loader from Abbot Point to New Port shipyard at Mokpo, South Korea, for refurbishment and upgrading, returning it to Abbot Point earlier this month.
The project began when the huge cargo was loaded at Abbot Point, in January 2013, by the SAL Heavy Lift vessel MV Lone.
It was transported back this month on the MV Svenja.
Both vessels are in SAL Heavy Lift's type 183 range, featuring 2000t crane lift capacity and up to 20 knots service speed.
“A key point in this project was the difficulty of loading the ship loader from the jetty in open water at Abbot Point and returning it to the same position”, said SAL Heavy Lift Singapore and Australia managing director Justin Archard.
“This was made complex by the big difference in height of the jetty above the water line and the height of the ship’s deck.
“It meant lifting the ship loader very high to achieve sufficient clearance. Issues of tidal range and vessel stability were instrumental in the planning stage”, he added.
Before the upgrade, the ship loader had been in service for 20 years.
On the passage to South Korea, the ship loader weighed 1050t. Following its upgrade, its return weight was 1250t due to steel and other material additions.
The loader was previously capable of loading bulk carriers at 5000t/hour. That has increase post-upgrade to 7000t/hour.