BigLift’s m.v. Transporter was contracted by Transocean to load four azimuth thrusters in the Port of Galveston with destination anchorage Port Gentil, where the ultra-deepwater drill ship “Jack Ryan” required our assistance for the exchange and overhaul of its thrusters.
The two 275mt heavy lift mast cranes of the Transporter where re-reeved so that the crane hook could reach a water depth of 25 metres. Careful planning and working 24 hours around the clock are key elements in such operations. An additional accommodation unit was also placed on board the Transporter to house the client’s representatives for the entire operation.
Every thruster exchange operation started with the preparation of the new thruster on the deck of the Transporter. Once this thruster was ready and in a good position for the exchange, the old thruster in the drill ship could be lowered. At the same time the Transporter lowered the rigging and main hook into the water to the required depth. Once both the rigging and the old thruster were at the same depth, divers made a secure connection - a wet handshake - between the thruster hanging from Jack Ryan and the Transporter. Then, the old thruster could be hoisted on to the Transporter’s deck. Once there, the so-called strand wires were changed over from the old to the new thruster. With all the strand wires in place, the earlier operation was performed in reverse order. In this way, the exchange of a single thruster only takes approximately four to six hours.
During the exchange project for the four thrusters, the Transporter was also used as a workshop to overhaul the thrusters. After a successful exchange, the Transporter returned to the Port of Galveston to discharge four old thrusters and various other equipment from Jack Ryan. The Transocean personnel and the Transporter’s crew certainly showed what teamwork is all about.
Transocean is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor and the leading provider of drilling management services worldwide. BigLift is proud to be an approved supplier for Transocean, providing it with thruster exchange services on a worldwide basis. By combining our lifting experience with specialist diving skills, BigLift provides innovative underwater equipment exchange solutions. This can eliminate the need for urgent dry-docking, minimise off-hire time and maximise the revenue-generating capabilities of the vessel.