End July marked the completion of three shipments of modules that loaded in Batangas and were destined for Burns Harbour on the Great Lakes. Performed on behalf of Foster Wheeler USA Corporation and BP North America Products, the work involved the shipment of preassembled refinery modules for installation at the BP Whiting Refinery Modernisation Project, scheduled for completion at the end of 2011.
BigLift’s involvement in this project began in the second half of 2007 when we were contacted by Foster Wheeler because it knew about the capacity of our Lakes-fitted tonnage. The project involved the transport of 59 modules, ranging in weights of up to 472 mt, over a period of one year.
Through a cooperative and innovative approach between our technical and commercial departments it was found that we could accomplish Phase 2 in three voyages, rather than the four Foster Wheeler had proposed. This was key to BigLift being awarded the contract for Phase 2, as the costs were reduced significantly, and the construction and installation schedule required by BP North America was still met.
The first voyage was performed by the m.v. Happy River with the vessel loading nine modules with weights ranging from 150 mt to 415 mt which represented a total volume of more than 27,000 cbm. Some modules were also over 15 metres in height or width. Clearly this was to be an undertaking.
The experience of the Happy River became the template for handling the next two voyages deploying the m.v. Enchanter and m.v. Happy Rover respectively. The Enchanter was carrying some modules of similar sizes to that of the Happy River as well as two dressed vessels. The deck of the Happy Rover was completely filled, with six modules on top which were too big to fit below deck. The hold was fully loaded with smaller modules and general cargo.
At the discharge port in Burns Harbour all of the modules were discharged onto barges.
The end result of this effort was the successful execution of three voyages - on time - without damage or incident to the full satisfaction of both BP North America and Foster Wheeler. Perhaps the most important aspect of this project was the level of cooperation, patience and teamwork required to execute the job.