OCTOBER 25, 2013 — With Brazil's offshore industry requiring ever bigger and more complex floaters, shipbuilders require increasingly complex logistics solutions to bring components together from different fabrication sites and then transport ever larger units to Brazil.
Pontoons are loaded aboard Xiang Rui Kou
One company that specializes in providing the oil and gas industry with the required services is Blue Water Shipping of Ejsberg, Denmark.
Illustrating the kinds of issue that Blue Water is dealing with is a contract it wasawarded earlier this year by Singapore's Keppel FELS. It covers the heavy-lift transportation of six semi-submersible rigs.
In total, Blue Water will handle more than 600,000 freight tons during the course of the challenging contract, mainly by dry and wet towage and heavy-lift ships.
The project contains transport of both the lower hull and pontoons for the hulls.
"Right now, we are preparing for transporting the lower hull of the rig to Brazil. Due to the width of the hull which is 73 meters, we have chartered the biggest semi-submersible heavy lift vessel in the world, the Dockwise Vanguard, which is expected to load the hull from Singapore in December this year," says Lars Skov Christensen, project manager Blue Water Singapore.
The pontoons which are the basis of the lower hull were shipped from the Keppel Batangas Shipyard in the Philippines to Singapore in early October and for that part of the job, Blue Water chartered the semi-submersible vessel Xiang Rui Kou from China's Cosco Heavy Transport.
After Keppel launched the pontoons into the water off the waterfront at the Batangas yard, Blue Water arranged the tug boats to tow the pontoons from the waterfront to the anchorage position where Xiang Rui Kou was ready to receive its cargo.
Each pontoon weighs about 4,000 t
Under the supervision and responsibility of Blue Water's team of experts the pontoons were floated onto the vessel safely. Five days later, the pontoons were smoothly discharged in Singapore.
The final decision on the loading locations and the cargo configuration per shipment of the remaining rigs has not yet been made. The rigs are being built at various Keppel locations across Asia.
The completion works of the rigs will be executed at the BrasFELS shipyard in Angra dos Reis, Brazil.
2 x Pontoons including lower columns each: 108 m length x 16 m width x 9.5 m height
Weight per pontoon abt 4,000 metric tons
Lower hull: 108 m length x 73 m width x 25.75 m height
Total weight about 10,500 metric tons