Happy Buccaneer used all her technical possibilities for the loading and unloading of the cargo for the Talara refinery modernisation project. She lifted on and rolled off, and her large cargo hold – with its heavy duty floor – and her fast ballasting systems were all part of the game.
Geodis Wilson, on behalf of Tecnicas Reunidas, approached BigLift for the transportation of five sizeable columns (totalling around 25,000 cbm) which needed to be sent from Bilbao in Spain to Talara in Peru. These columns ranged in size from 22.5*5.1*5.1 metres to 73.6 m*9.4*8.1 metres. The two heaviest columns of 714 mt and 738 mt were fairly large, measuring 38*15*14 m.
Happy Buccaneer was the vessel that could do all that was required. This contract had a number of challenging aspects.
- The cargo could be lifted on board, but due to local circumstances in the port of discharge, i.e. the large risk of swell and the tidal difference, lifting was not an option at the discharge port.
- The cargo items were heavy and large. With the roll-off discharge requirement all cargo needed to be positioned on the tweendeck. Therefore, this ruled out cargo on the weather deck and required a vessel with a large enough tween deck to accommodate just over 2000 m2 of cargo.
- The cargo had to be stowed on grillage on the tweendeck floor, as SPMTs had to be able to drive under the cargo items during discharge. This led to an increased foot print for the cargo cradles and meant that the tweendeck floor had to be very strong.
In short, Happy Buccaneer was the vessel of choice. With a lead time of a number of months, the loading sequence was engineered. Happy Buccaneer loaded all the items with her own gear and with pinpoint precision placed them on her tween deck.
While in Talara, swell was indeed a complicating factor, as was the rain! The port of Talara was closed down for a number of weeks because of the bad weather and the heavy rains had flushed away the quay where the roll-off operation had to be performed. The shoregang and transport company Sarens had a tough job reconstructing the ramp every time before each load out action, which in themselves were quick and professional jobs.
All in all this was an out of the ordinary job. Thanks to the excellent cooperation between Geodis, BigLift, Sarens and the shoregang the difficulties were overcome and we can look back on another job well done.