18 years of daily operations
Hermasa Navegação da Amazõnia SA, owned by the Brazilian Amaggi Group, has been using a Siwertell screw-type ST-790-M unloader and a Siwertell belt loader for eighteen years on its floating transhipment terminal at Itacoatiara on the Amazon River in Brazil.
The terminal allows smooth, efficient movement of soya beans and corn to south eastern ports, independent of the country’s road system. Bulk loads arriving in barges from Porto Velho on the Madeira River are conveyed to an intermediate storage facility ashore, or loaded directly into vessels for onward transportation.
Commercial operations began in April 1997 and since then the equipment has been in almost daily operation, handling the annual throughput of between 2.6 and 2.8 million metric tons of beans and corn. Taking about two hours to unload a barge containing 2,000t, the unloader operates for roughly 2,600 hours each year, while the loader operates for about 1,200 hours.
Challenges of the rain forest
Despite its location in the middle of the rain forest, with adverse conditions such as high humidity, strong sunshine and high winds, the Siwertell equipment has proved to be very robust, giving Hermasa confidence that it will have a long service life, says Terminal Supervisor Jander Santos. “The Siwertell systems functioned correctly right from the start of operations. “We chose Siwertell because of its practicality, reliability, efficiency, low energy costs, high capacity and low dust contamination.”
In recent years four other companies with Amazonian terminals have followed the Amaggi Group’s lead and ordered Siwertell ship unloaders for their grain operations. Regular maintenance and PLC upgrade ensure reliable operations.
Maintenance Manager Paulo Paes says Hermasa carries out its own maintenance, including changing screws, wear tubes and plates and overhauling hydraulic systems, sometimes with assistance from a Siwertell supervisor. In a 2014 upgrade, Hermasa replaced the PLC to bring the specification up to the current standard.
Choose an excellent option
Considering the possibility of future developments, Terminal Manager Daniel Mulati says Siwertell systems will always be an excellent option. “To any terminal operator thinking of buying equipment and services from Siwertell, I say; go ahead, it is very reliable and Siwertell’s personnel are committed to their business.”