In July 2018, ALE heavy lift and transportation specialist ALE transported two slug catchers, weighing 2,008 tonnes each, from Spain to the Fadhili gas programme in Saudi Arabia.
ALE first transported the slug catchers from the fabrication yard through the narrow streets of Gijon city centre to Gijon Port using 32 axle lines of SPMT. At the port they were then loaded-out. ALE says its experience and extensive fleet of equipment enabled it to negotiate this heavily congested part of the route safely.
ALE worked to a tight deadline, as transportation of the slug catchers could only take place over public holidays in Saudi Arabia. As a result, it says it applied for all necessary permits as soon as possible. This approach worked well as, according to ALE, the Saudi authorities had implemented new systems which meant that obtaining the permits was a considerable challenge with several delays. ALE says it worked hard to maintain communications with both Jubail Industrial Port and the Saudi Royal Commission to ensure the permits were received on time.
ALE also had to work at short notice to carry out site surveys and analysis at the client’s site. ALE said it was important that the client had the information delivered swiftly so that there were enough personnel available to carry out the necessary site work before the approaching public holiday.
Upon arrival at Jubail Industrial Port, the slug catchers were loaded-in and transported 90 km in convoy to the Fadhili Gas Program Project using 174 axle lines of SPMT in a configuration of six file 30 and six file 28.
In Saudi Arabia, movement times were restricted, says ALE. However, a greater challenge was navigating a narrow desert road that had been affected by sand encroachment. ALE said it acted quickly, working with various authorities, to get the road cleared and to avoid any major delays.
Andrew Taylor, ALE project manager, said, “Performing the heaviest and largest ever convoy transportation in Saudi Arabia was always going to be a major challenge, especially over such a large distance. In addition, we only had five weeks before the slug catchers arrived at Jubail Industrial Port and the public holidays meant working times were restricted both for ALE and the authorities.
“Obtaining all the necessary permissions was a complex process and we worked extremely hard to ensure they arrived on time. The vessel’s arrival time was actually brought forward but as we had begun the preparations so soon we avoided any delays because everything was already in place.”
A further three slug catchers are earmarked for future transportation.
Each slug catcher weighed 2,008 tonnes