MarAd Releases Report On Feasibility Of Exporting Slurried Coal

The Maritime Administration has released a technical report prepared under a MarAd contract by Hydronautics, Inc. of Laurel, Md., and Marconaflo, Inc. of San Francisco, Calif. The study, "A Preliminary Feasibility Study of Steam Coal Slurry Marine Transport Systems," examines the economic feasibility of exporting large quantities of steam coal from the United States; the use of converted vessels for its transportation; and the advantages of this concept over more conventional systems.

A slurry system uses the suspension of solid matter in a liquid.

Through the use of slurry technology, solids can be pulverized, liquefied, and then pumped through pipes.

The report, which was co-sponsored by American Bulk Cement Systems, Inc. of New York, N.Y., concludes that coal, a major U.S.

export commodity, could be exported on a competitive basis on the world market. It also notes that the foreign demand for coal is likely to increase.

The carriage of slurried coal in two converted U.S.-flag ships — one a 225,000-dwt tanker and the other an 80,000-dwt oil/bulk/ore carrier—was found to be competitive with other modes of trans- portation in the i n t e r n a t i o n a l marketplace, and to offer special export opportunities for the movement of U.S. steam coal to a powerplant in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The study also concludes that the proposed coal slurry transport concepts would provide rapid loading and discharge rates; ability to operate at offshore terminals ; and elimination of air pollution during loading and unloading.

Major disadvantages identified were the requirement for large quantities of fresh water, and "dewatering" problems for both the ship's loading and the powerplant receiving portions of the system.

Copies of the 142-page report are available from the National Technical I n f o r m a t i o n Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Va. 22161. The order number is PB-276165/AS, and the price is $6.

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