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  • Year: September 2021
  • Market: Emergency response assistance
  • Vessel: Happy Sky

Emergency Response Assistance Vila do Conde

Mid November 2020 BigLift received a call from a Salvage contractor informing us that they were contracted by a Brazilian terminal operator for an emergency response operation regarding the breakdown of a ship unloader. The ship unloader, at the bauxite terminal in Vila do Conde, had suffered a rupture in the upper chord of the boom and bending and cracks were observed in the two lower chords. The crane arm and chute were resting on top of a pile of Bauxite inside the hold of a bulk carrier, while the counter weight of 350 mt was 33 metres up in the air on the opposite site of the pier. The ship unloader was moving vertically with the tide coming in and going out, making the situation extremely unsafe and deteriorating steadily.

BigLift shipping was contracted by the Salvage Company to offer crane assistance.

On the pier side, the counterweights needed support and due to her lifting height, MV Happy Sky was positioned to “land” the counter weight in a custom made frame, where it rested until further notice. At the same time mv Parkgracht moored alongside the bulk carrier and connected the hook to the chute inside the bulk carrier. This stabilized the situation and the Salvors could start dismantling the crane.

The counterweight slabs needed to be removed first. As they were welded together, a team of rope access workers on a cherry picker first had to separate the slabs, whereafter a shore crane could lift the pieces off one by one. Once the counterweight had been dismantled, a diamond cutter wire was used to separate the crane arm from the chute. The scrap that was left was loaded in the hold of MV Parkgracht awaiting further instructions.

When all was said and done, mv Happy Sky had set a record for performing a non-stop tandem lift for more than 600 hours by keeping the counterweight high to compensate for the tide. 

Due to our flexibility, state of the art equipment and personnel we assisted the Salvage Company and Terminal at great satisfaction and terminal operations could soon commence again.

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Emergency Response Assistance Vila do Conde

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