Cargill - Bulk Handling Dock
- Owner: Cargill Crop Nutrition
- Project: Upgrade Bulk Handling Dock
- Location: Tampa, FL, USA
- Scope: Feasibility Study (Project Catfish)
In early 2003, Cargill Crop Nutrition (Cargill) commenced a study to upgrade their existing bulk handling dock to accommodate Panamax sized ships, additional truck and rail unloading of dry products, and increase the export of dry products to a rate of 5M tons per annum (TPA) over a 3- to 7- year period. The study was called “Project Catfish”.
On 10 September 2003, Roberts & Schaefer Company (R&S) was awarded the contract by Cargill to complete the Project Catfish feasibility study. This was subsequent to R&S submittal of a competitively bid proposal to Cargill for these services. A week later on 17 September 2003 staff from R&S and Soros visited the site to obtain preliminary information and discuss the project objectives. Further visits and meetings were conducted with Cargill to obtain additional information, attend meetings with Cargill project personnel and observe loading of two bulk carriers and the unloading of a sulfur barge.
The scope of work required R&S and Soros to scope and assess options for handling increased freight task in each stage and provide design and cost estimates (±25%) for such options. Project Catfish was divided into two phases. Phase 1 was to determine the best means and methods for allowing the import of 500,000 TPA of dry products by truck and then exporting 2.5M TPA via Panamax or Handymax vessels from the facility. Phase 2 would see an increase in the export of dry products to 5M TPA by receiving 2.5M TPA of dry products by rail from Bartow and Green Bay plants.
Also included in the study was a site and logistical review of existing systems and truck paths for the added truck traffic resulting from implementation of the project. The trucks, which are used for importing dry products, would haul liquid sulfur back to both Green.
Bay and Bartow using “Saddleback” trucks designed for this purpose. With the increased traffic into the Riverview plant, a review of the entrance into the plant was also completed.
The current dock facilities, including the existing ship loader, the depth of the channel, and the length and depth of the berth, were not capable of accommodating Panamax sized vessels. The study included methods and means for upgrading the dock, berth and turning basin to allow the use of Panamax vessels while keeping the existing facility operational.
Following Phase 1 upgrades, both Handymax and Panamax vessels were able to be loaded. The existing ship-loading rate was approximately 750 tons per hour (tph) and it was planned to remain at this rate in Phase 1. This tonnage rate was then to be increased to 2,000 tph by introducing a new shiploader in Phase 2, thereby providing faster loading of Panamax vessels. Due to the increased volume of product being shipped, a review of adding an additional 150,000 tons of dry products storage was also completed which resulted in modifications to the shed and conveyor systems.
The study was completed in October 2003 and the final report furnished to the client in November 2003.