MacGregor, part of Cargotec, and ESL Shipping, part of Aspo Plc, have agreed to jointly develop and test an autonomous discharging feature on MacGregor bulk handling cranes.
The cranes will be fitted on board ESL Shipping’s two new LNG-powered handysize bulk carriers.
“Autonomous crane operation improves efficiency and safety,” said Leif Byström, Senior Vice President, Cargo Handling at MacGregor. “Discharging operations can be monitored and controlled from the bridge and therefore eliminate the need for personnel in hazardous operational areas.”
“Our new environmental friendly LNG fuelled ships will be operated in very demanding trade with high number of voyages, port calls and crane operation hours annually. Autonomous operation will further increase our competitiveness and offer our clients unforeseen efficiency and safety,” said Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director at ESL Shipping.
According to ESL Shipping, the two 25,600 DWT LNG-fueled bulkers being built by Jinling Shipyard, in Nanjing, China, will be the first of their kind in the world.
The vessels are planned to enter service during the second quarter of 2018, when automation testing will commence.