Originally commissioned in 1965 by Moreland Technical & Engineering Consultants, the predecessor of Bosch Projects, the South African Sugar Association owns and operates the iconic South African Sugar Terminal on Maydon Wharf at the Port of Durban.
The facility exported its sugar onto vessels using the two 850 tph ship loaders that were designed to feed onto 35,000t Handymax vessels. An upgrade of the Maydon Wharf berths to facilitate a deeper draft saw the cope of the quayside being moved forward by 2m.
The deeper draft, whilst allowing for the efficient berthing of larger 80,000t Panamax vessels, would have resulted in the ship loaders becoming redundant and unable to operate. Inspections however showed that whilst the machines had operated in the aggressive sea air for 50 years, that there was no excessive corrosion and they appeared in good overall condition with no evidence of fatigue.
The most cost effective solution was therefore to retain the existing ship-loaders and build them into a new sub structure that utilised a new cope quayside rail.
The old ship loaders were overhauled and the 20 m high, 112 ton units effectively moved forward 4m and raised by 1,32m and incorporated into a replacement VSD driven sub structure to allow the existing boom access, and clearance, to Panamax type vessels even at the highest tide. The feed conveyor retained its existing angle and feed on point by being extended rearwards towards the unchanged feed conveyor gallery.