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Cement handling systems


Cement handling systems


​Versatile and efficient self-loading and unloading systems for cement and other powdery materials

A MacGregor cement handling solution is designed for maximum flexibility, which enables vessels to perform at high capacity rates in virtually any existing port facility. It ensures the reliable and highly efficient transportation of cement and other powdery materials from producers to consumers all over the world.

MacGregor cement handling solutions are carefully designed to be able to accommodate future alterations, add-ons and upgrades without the need to undertake major modifications to the original system. In addition, MacGregor electrical control systems can deliver automatic loading and unloading operations that can be supervised by just one operator, even when handling different grades of cement at high capacities.
The systems can also be equipped with remote diagnostics, which MacGregor’s engineers can access via a modem. The cement handling solutions are equally applicable to newbuilding and conversion projects. General bulk carriers are very suitable for retrofitting cement handling equipment and any size of second hand bulk carrier can quickly and easily be converted into a self-loading and unloading cement carrier at a much lower overall cost than a new ship.
The system is also suitable for handling other fluidisable powdery cargoes such as fly ash, lime stone powder, etc.

Key benefits 

  • Well-proven technology
  • High discharge capacity
  • Applicable for newbuildings as well as conversions
  • Tailored to suit each vessel for maximum performance
  • Environmentally-friendly operation
  • Low power consumption
  • Low operating costs

Loading and unloading is carried out in the most environmentally-friendly way with a totally-enclosed conveying line and operational capability in all kinds of weather. 


A bulk carrier fitted with a MacGregor cement handling system has all the necessary equipment onboard to undertake fast and efficient operations. Since cement is loaded at very high loading rates, up to 1600 t/h, strict demands are made on the ballast system to keep the ship in a level and stable condition. By using the MacGregor horizontal screw conveyor and a fully automatic regulated distribution arrangement to the holds, the cement is distributed to the holds evenly both FWD/FT and STB. This enables a safe and efficient loading operation of the ship and at the same time simplifies the ballasting.

Animation: Mechanical loading of cement carrier

Discharge is provided by reclaiming cement with the use of fluidised bottoms installed on the tanktop in each of the vessel’s cargo holds. The traditional way is to operate each panel manually. However, to ensure the highest possible through-ship-capacity with the shortest turnaround time for the ship in port, Cargotec has chosen an automatic unloading operation based on a PLC-program.

For elevating the cement above deck, the well-proven MacGregor vertical screw conveyor is used. This ensures a high-capacity discharge operation and reduces energy consumption considerably.

Pneumatic unloading to shore

The most common way of transporting cement from ship to silo is by pneumatic transport in pipelines. Pneumatic transportation requires minimal shore-side installations as all the transportation equipment is situated onboard the ship. The MacGregor blow pump solution is an efficient pneumatic transport system that can be optimised for various capacities and transport material over considerable distances with the lowest possible power consumption.

Animation: Pneumatic unloading

Mechanical unloading to shore

Some cement terminals are built only for mechanical transportation to silos, which is why some cement carriers, equipped by MacGregor, are also fitted with a MacGregor slewable and luffable screw-type discharge boom. The boom is linked to the shore facilities by flexible bellows and can reach a mechanical discharge rate of up to 1,300t/h. The boom can also be used for loading directly to road tankers.

Animation: Mechanical unloading

MacGregor offers combined mechanical and pneumatic discharge systems, which are beneficial as it makes the ship versatile. The mechanical element can be installed either during the building phase or later on.

MacGregor electrical control system

Cement carriers equipped with a MacGregor cement handling system incorporate a sophisticated electrical control system for the supervision and control of different loading and unloading operations. It is built for automatic operation by one man only. It can handle different grades of cement for loading and unloading the ship at high capacities in the most efficient way. In addition, the system is built for remote diagnostics via a modem to MacGregor engineers.  

​Loading and unloading is carried out in the most environmentally-friendly way with a totally-enclosed conveying line and operational capability in all kinds of weather.  



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