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Dehumidification export carrier trial results in

Zach RelphCountryman
LiveCorp held a static trial on an empty ship in Dubai with dehumidification units.
Camera IconLiveCorp held a static trial on an empty ship in Dubai with dehumidification units. Credit: LiveCorp

Results from a $2.2 million dehumidification trial in the Middle East testing temperature and humidity aboard a livestock carrier are under the microscope in a bid to overcome heat stress on live export voyages.

LiveCorp announced last Thursday data from its week-long static trial, which started on June 24, on an empty ship moored in Dubai, was being analysed.

As part of the testing, dehumidification units — designed to provide fresh air and humidity and temperature control in high-humidity environments — were set up on the wharf and pumped modified air into several decks on the vessel to determine its impact on temperature and humidity.

LiveCorp chief executive Sam Brown said it was an important step in gauging how heat stress on animals could be reduced on livestock voyages during the northern hemisphere’s summer months.

“Dehumidified air was piped into the vessel at different rates over several days, with the atmosphere on the decks allowed to come back to the outside conditions in between each test,” he said.

“Running the trial in the Middle East in summer aimed to provide the biggest test of the technology, with a variety of automated loggers measuring temperature and humidity, as well as the combined, all-important wet bulb temperature.

LiveCorp chief executive Sam Brown at the dehumidification trial.
Camera IconLiveCorp chief executive Sam Brown at the dehumidification trial. Credit: LiveCorp

“Specialists in thermodynamics, technology providers and experts in research design made sure all the variables were taken into account and the best, practical trial methodologies applied.”

The trial’s funding was announced by former Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud when he was in Perth in March.

At the time, Mr Littleproud said dehumidification technology could potentially “save” the live sheep trade during the northern summer months and allow “stocking densities to be increased”.

It comes as part of the industry’s bid to ensure the live trade continues after a raft of shipping changes were proposed in the Federal Government’s heat-stress risk assessment model in the wake of last year’s Awassi Express scandal when footage emerged of dehydrated and dead sheep on the Emanuel Exports-owned carrier.

Mr Brown said the research and development body was confident in its heat-stress testing process.

The live sheep sector is currently in the northern summer trading halt, which started on June 1 and ends on August 31, for voyages to the Middle East.

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