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tty problem with shiploader

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    $25m loader breaks down



    LINED UP: Ships loading at East Arm Wharf yesterday after the iron ore loader broke down on wednesday night, forcing ships to stay out on the water all night.
    A SHIP was forced to anchor out of Darwin harbour on Wednesday night after a mechanical loader broke down at East Arm Wharf.

    Darwin Port Corporation chief executive Robert Ritchie said a solenoid was found to be faulty, causing the boom mechanism to fail.

    "The Darwin Port Corporation staff worked on that during the night and replaced the solenoid,'' he said.

    The fault forced a ship ready to cart iron ore to China for Territory Resources to wait outside the harbour for about 12 hours, until the problem was fixed.

    "Because the boom was down the Harbourmaster refused to allow the vessel to berth for safety reasons,'' Mr Ritchie said.

    Territory Resources general manager of logistics Blake Cousins said loading of the ship started about 9.30am yesterday.

    He said it was too early to say if the company would ask for compensation for the delay, but did not rule it out.

    "There could be possible down time charges at the end of it but we don't know yet,'' he said.

    Mr Cousins said he expected the ship to be loaded in three days before it sets sail for China.

    The NT Government spent $25million building the new ship loader, which was opened last year. It has allowed Territory Resources to export iron ore from the NT for the first time since Cyclone Tracy.

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