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56 E&MJ • MARCH 2017 www.e-mj.com SUPPLIERS REPORT thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions recent- ly announced it has begun a partnership with National Ports, an Australian devel- oper and operator of large-scale floating port solutions, to make the operation of bulk carriers and materials handling equipment more efficient and environ- mentally friendly in shallow-water ports around the world. The effort is aimed at further devel- oping and rolling out a new technology known as the super-shallow draft bulk carrier — a self-propelled vessel that will open shallow draft ports to far great- er tonnages with no dredging and very limited capital expenditure, according to the company. Marco Lucido, managing director at National Ports, said, "Our new solution will open up access to shallow loading and destination ports worldwide including those affected by large tides. The system will not only be able to significantly in- crease cargo throughput for existing min- ing companies with limited draft [ports], it can also help to make new mining com- panies economically viable." According to thyssenkrupp, the ma- jority of global import and export ports for bulk material are geographically re- mote and not sufficiently dredged to handle modern bulk carriers, which, with a deadweight of 180,000 tons (t), usu- ally require a draft of around 19 meters (m) including clearance under the keel. Most ports provide a draft of only 14 m or even less. In addition, dredging can be expensive and costs increase exponential- ly when dredging of hard materials is re- quired, plus there may be associated neg- ative impacts on the marine environment. With the new super-shallow draft bulk carrier, thyssenkrupp and National Ports said they will offer mining companies and port operators around the world a fast and efficient bulk material handling solution for shallow-water ports. With up to 185,000 t deadweight capacity on a 14-m draft, the new system will be able to transit ports with limited water depth. It will be capable of self-unloading its cargo at a rate of up to 10,000 t/h into bulk carriers of any size (including Vale- max ships with a 400,000-deadweight-t capacity) or directly at the destination port in a safe and environmentally friend- ly manner. The new bulk carrier, according to the two companies, can be loaded from any oceangoing vessel or directly from the land side via shore conveyors, thus lim- iting capital expenditure for new port in- frastructure. Mine and port operators can charter the system on a per ton basis. Dr. Franz-Maria Wolpers, senior ex- ecutive in the Mining Technologies business unit of thyssenkrupp Industri- al Solutions, said, "We are delighted to be helping our clients solve one of the most complex challenges they face when operating in shallow, restricted and re- mote ports. In addition to opening up access to those ports, the new system dramatically increases self-unloading rates into any type of bulk carrier or to the port of destination through a thys- senkrupp materials handling system. In cooperation with National Ports, we are thus offering mining companies and port operators worldwide significant efficien- cy improvements including faster mate- rials handling at lower cost and reduced environmental risk." The super-shallow draft bulk carrier is technically based on a conventional bulk carrier, outfitted with sponsons on both sides of the vessel. These provide the ship with additional flotation enabling it to operate in a fully loaded condition in very shallow waters. Atlas Copco Proposes Splitting Company Into 2 On January 16, Atlas Copco reported that it plans to ask shareholders at its 2018 Annual General Meeting to de- cide on whether to split into two listed companies, Atlas Copco and another en- tity called "NewCo" as a working name, and to distribute NewCo to Atlas Copco's shareholders. NewCo will focus on mining and civil engineering customers and include the existing Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area and the Con- struction Tools division with related ser- vice operations. This business has ap- proximately 12,000 employees and had pro forma revenues of SEK 28 billion (EUR 3 billion) and an operating margin of about 16% for the 12 months ended September 30, 2016, according to the company. The new Atlas Copco will focus on industrial customers and include the Compressor Technique, Vacuum Tech- nique and Industrial Technique business areas plus the Portable Energy division, including service, and the Specialty Rental division. "The board and management believe that long-term shareholder value will be created by splitting the group into two separate companies," said Hans Stråberg, chair of the board of directors of Atlas Copco AB. "Both businesses are global leaders in their respective fields and will benefit from a more focused management responsibility." "The two businesses have different demand drivers and demand characteris- tics," said Ronnie Leten, president and CEO of the Atlas Copco Group. "A split will increase their respective abilities to add value to customers, grow the busi- ness and attract talent." If shareholders approve the proposal, the split is planned to be done through a share distribution, whereby Atlas Copco Bulk Shipping Concept Aims to Expand Capacity of Shallow-water Ports The super-shallow draft bulk carrier under develop- ment by thyssenkrupp and National Ports will be able to safely transit shallow-water ports on its own, as well as self-transload its cargo to larger ships, includ- ing 400,000-dwt Valemax carriers similar to the one shown here.