Singapore-based Rocktree, a one-stop solutions provider for turnkey projects from concept to medium to long-term operations, has announced its appointment by Abu Dhabi Ports’ maritime services arm, SAFEEN, to design and manage the conversion of a post panamax bulk carrier into a transhipment vessel.
Rocktree has also been engaged by SAFEEN to provide technical management and crewing services for the vessel since its delivery. Work to convert the 101,648dwt Niki is currently in progress at China’s Cosco Guangzhou shipyard and is scheduled for completion during Q4/2020, when the transhipper will be renamed Hafeet. When delivered the vessel will provide a vital link in the supply of iron ore for Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Steel.
From January 2021, the 253m long Hafeet will transship iron ore from bulkers up to Newcastlemax size (210,000dwt) in deep water anchorage onto 12,000dwt self-propelled, self-discharging barges (shuttle feeders), which will feed the Emirates Steel plant at Musaffah Port. Hafeet will also have capacity to store iron ore pellets inside seven cargo holds while waiting for the shuttle feeders.
Rocktree CEO Daniele Pratolongo, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by such an important client to design this transhipment vessel, oversee the conversion project and be entrusted with the initial ship management on behalf of SAFEEN.”
Head of Abu Dhabi Ports Maritime Cluster and SAFEEN CEO, Capt. Adil Banihammad, said: “We are very positive about this latest project which is in line with our vision of expansion into the Transhipment sector of maritime business. The Transhipment contract serving Emirates Steel, adds one more feather to SAFEEN’s cap after the ongoing management of a similar project in West Africa.”
Mario Terenzio, Managing Director of Rocktree Consulting, led the way in transhipment in the Arabian Gulf back in 1998. He said: “The success we achieved for GIIC (now Bahrain Steel) with its pioneering iron ore transhipment operation, positions us well to serve SAFEEN’s requirements.”
Rocktree is recognized for its local knowledge and the technical and operational expertise gained from developing some 38 floating logistics solutions, including floating cranes, self-discharging vessels, transhippers, and one of the world’s largest floating terminals.
The Rocktree and SAFEEN technical teams are working with the shipyard and equipment suppliers on the design, which will feature a new cargo handling facility and ancillary equipment consisting of four 32t SWL grab cranes, two double hoppers, a 3,000t/h conveyor system, and one luffing/slewing barge-loader. The vessel will also be fitted out with three new diesel generators and additional mooring and fendering systems. Additional steel work will add 2,328t to the vessel’s lightweight.
“The transhippers we design are geared to provide our clients with an edge over their competitors. We achieve this by way of devising, designing and operating effective logistics solutions and services across the supply chain to industry,” said Terenzio.
“We identify the customer’s requirements, carry out pre-feasibility studies and designs, and take on the full project and operational management, to ensure works are carried out smoothly and efficiently.”
In November last year, Rocktree completed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for a new floating terminal for Australia’s Metro Mining Limited.
The FEED work formed part of an updated Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Stage 2 expansion of the Bauxite Hills Mine, about 95km north of Weipa, Queensland. Metro Mining aims to increase bauxite exports from about 3.5 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes per year by 2022.
Looking ahead, Pratolongo said: “With a diverse team of professionals committed to delivering quality and innovation, we anticipate Rocktree’s presence in other areas will grow. We not only expect further expansion in the regions in which we currently operate – Russia, Indonesia, Australia – but also in the Middle East.”