In Chile, Puerto Ventanas has inaugurated a MacGregor shiploader at berth 3, which is expected to triple the amount of copper concentrate that can be handled. This forms part of an overall $30 million modernization plan for the port, which is situated on the coast north of Valparai´so. The upgrade was originally launched in September 2015. (For more details on the modernization, please see ‘Spanish DF participates in the expansion of largest Chilean dry bulk port, on p105 of the June issue of Dry Cargo International.)
According to Jorge Oyarce, managing director of Puerto Ventanas, the new shiploader is going to make a substantial difference in the way that it loads copper concentrates and allow the port to be much more flexible in future. It will additionally allow the port’s clients to fully load vessels with consignments and overcome some of the higher tides that the region suffers from.
With the arrival of the shiploader, the port’s head of sustainability, Luis Fuentes, says it consolidates Ventanas’ position as Chile’s leading dry bulk port. He notes that the equipment is fitted with dust suppressing system that avoid local contamination.
He recalled that, in 2016, the port had opened its main dry bulk warehouse,“La Greda”, which can accommodate up to 46,000 tonnes.
By deploying a modern shiploader, Ventanas estimates it will be able to handle around seven million tonnes of copper concentrate annually, since by positioning it at berth 3, vessel will no longer have to manoeuvre alongside to take on a full load, there helping to better improve warehouse use. The shiploader can operate at loads of up to 1,500 tonnes per hour.