Shiploaders are a common sight along the jetties and piers of the world. Yet these enormous machines would have no loads if it were not for the ancillary port infrastructure. Marine transport of solid bulk materials such as iron ore, coal, fertilizers, grains and wood chips is made possible through the use of port stockpiles. As bulk material gets loaded and unloaded from the ship, it is unloaded and loaded from the stockpile. Geometrica is pleased to play a part in the overall picture as an international supplier of long span storage domes that help insure such port stockpiles are environment-friendly.
Coal Handling in Bontang
The city of Bontang is no stranger to ship loading and unloading. Located in the province of East Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo, this ocean estuary is the headquarters of Indonesia’s largest fertilizer producer, PT Pupuk Kalimantan Timur (Pupuk Kaltim). Pupuk Kaltim supplies subsidized or non-subsidized sectors with urea, ammonia, NPK and organic fertilizer. The facility owns and operates its own port and special harbor, and provides an excellent example of ship loading and related technologies, such as bulk storage.
With the natural-gas market fluctuating and the government encouraging the use of coal, Pupuk Kaltim launched a project to diversify its fuel usage. It added a coal boiler in 2009. The fuel storage dome for this boiler was designed and prefabricated by Geometrica.
Geometrica had already met a high bar of achievement when previously designing the JEA Northside power plant dome in Jacksonville, FL. This award-winning facility boasts a pristine interior and exterior, and the similarities between JEA and Pupuk Kaltrim's vision were remarkable. Geometrica was selected to supply Pupuk Kaltim's long span application based on an ability to meet very specific environmental and logistical needs. Corrosive salt and the inland marine eco-system were one thing... but the 10m high reinforced-concrete perimeter ring wall covering 40,000 tons of coal was quite another, not to mention a coal stacker and a portal reclaimer. Fortunately, Geometrica has provided design, procurement and construction services for marine related bulk handling processes worldwide, including quayside storage.
Like JEA, Pupuk Kaltim chose to use only clean-coal technologies, a circulating fluidized-bed boiler, a coal-storage dome and a continuous barge unloader. “This project was very similar to domed bulk-storage facilities we have built worldwide,” says Jorge Parada, Geometrica's site consultant. “Our galvanized-steel dome technology has proved itself in many environments and applications. Pupuk Kaltim's application along the coast of Indonesia in a tropical rainforest, is a great example.”
The coal boiler produces the steam required to help Pupuk Kaltim deliver over three million tons of urea to the area. The dome had to resist specified environmental loads, withstand corrosive attack from the humid Kalimantan environment and help control explosion hazards, and also use technology that permitted fast construction by local crews without specialized equipment. The dome structure is made of galvanized steel, and the cladding is corrosion-resistant aluminum. "Experienced Geometrica technical-support staff came to Bontang to train our local laborers and supervise their work," said Ahmad Mardiani, Pupuk Kaltim construction manager. "Because of their contributions and cooperation, our local laborers were successful and proceeded without delays."
Interior cladding makes handling corrosive or harmful project possible, complete with specialized design, waterproofing, and ventilation systems.