BigLift’s Happy Buccaneer was contracted by Cargotec – Siwertell to transport two coal ship unloaders from Qidong, China to Jorf Lasfar, Morocco; a long voyage of almost 13,000 nm, around the Cape of Good Hope.
The ship unloaders were required for the expansion project of the Jorf Lasfar Energy Company. They each weighed approximately 1,000 mt, were built at Rainbow Heavy Machinery in Nantong and the assembly and loadout took place at their sister company Rainbow Offshore. The ship unloaders had been completely finished, commissioned and tested before Happy Buccaneer arrived. But to allow the machines to pass between Happy Buccaneer’s heavy lift cranes, part of the unloaders’ aft end needed to be taken off and remounted at the jetty in Jorf Lasfar.
When Happy Buccaneer arrived in Qidong, both cranes were already waiting on the loadout jetty. After loading some accessory items and small equipment in the hold, the deck was prepared to receive the first ship unloader. When the unloader was landed on the rail track on deck, electric power was connected and it was driven aft over a distance of 20 m to make space for the second shipunloader. Once in its stowage position the crew had a challenge when they had to attach just over 100 lashing wires to the machine to secure it for the sea voyage. The long boom and vertical arm were secured by means of a very large push-pull brace. After the first shipunloader had been partly secured and the deck layout had been rearranged, the second unloader could be loaded and landed directly in its designated stowage position on deck. Again 100 lashing wires had to be installed and the vertical arm brace was attached and welded to the deck. The balancing of the large boom was arranged by large concrete counterweights weighing 260 mt per machine. These counterweights were taken off for the duration of the sea voyage. BigLift controlled all the logistics surrounding the loading, lashing, welding the sea fastenings and other workflow.
The seavoyage went smoothly, in a nonstop stretch from Singapore to Las Palmas, where bunkers were taken in. The subsequent discharge operation went as planned and the cranes were landed on their rails on the quay in Jorf Lasfar.