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Bulk handling systems for offshore supply vessels


Bulk handling systems for offshore supply vessels


High volume and energy-efficient bulk handling system for offshore supply vessels

Bulk handling systems are standard equipment for offshore supply vessels, enabling them to perform their supply role. The main task of such a system is to receive cargo, store and discharge it.  

MacGregor offers two main system types: one uses the hopper and blow pump concept; and the other uses a more conventional method where the storage and discharge of cargo is carried out using pressurised tanks.
Technical solutions based on this concept have been successfully employed on cement carriers for the past 20 years and are now available also for installation onboard AHTSs and PSVs.
The MacGregor hopper and blow pump concept offers great advantages to ship owners, shipbuilders and ship operators worldwide such as:
  • Increased bulk capacity by 50 to 70%
  • Space efficiency
  • Low installation and maintenance costs
  • Reduced risk of clogging
  • Simplified piping
  • Operator-friendly
  • Environmentally-friendly   


MacGregor hopper and blow pump concept

The fundamental principle of this concept is that the two main tasks of a bulk-handling system – storage and discharge – are performed by two separate units. The cargo is received and stored in a hopper and discharge is performed by blow pumps using compressed air. 

As the hopper is not used for discharge operations, it is not subjected to pressure and therefore can be rectangular in shape; using the ship’s existing longitudinal and transverse bulkheads to form its four walls and the main deck, its roof. This means that cargo capacity can be increased by 50 to 70% in comparison to conventional bulk tanks. Also two-way valves simplify piping work and eliminate the branching pipes, where wear and frequent clogging often occurs. 

In addition, loading and unloading of cargo is carried out with a totally enclosed dust-free system ensuring minimal environmental impact.  

The ​MacGregor hopper and blow pump bulk handling system for offshore supply vessels offers more than double the capacity of conventional units.



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