Jungle transport through Equatorial Guinea
By Katherine Weir16 May 2016
International heavy lift and transport company Mammoet completed the load-out and transport of heavy components for Marathon Oil’s Alba B3 compression platform.
The platform is newly constructed for the Alba gas and condensate field about 32 kilometres offshore from the capital Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.
The components include a topside and jacket built in the Netherlands and a flare and bridge built in Equatorial Guinea. The topside and jacket were manufactured in two locations in the Netherlands by the Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG), a sister company of Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC). HFG did the engineering, procurement, installation and construction work for the Alba project.
In the first port, Mammoet loaded the 5,800 tonne topside, measuring 40 x 40 metres and 35 m tall, over the bow side of the barge onto the stern, requiring a careful ballasting procedure. The barge then sailed to the second port for load out of the 2,600 tonne jacket. Mammoet controlled the ballasting operation to keep the partially loaded barge level and in line with the quayside, despite a tidal variation of up to 5 m. HMC transported the barge from the Netherlands to Equatorial Guinea.
While the operation to transport the topside and jacket was underway, Mammoet was in Equatorial Guinea picking up the 73 m tall flare and the 33 m long bridge. These components were manufactured by local subcontractor ECG on Bioko Island, also home to the capital. Mammoet transported the flare and bridge on self propelled modular transporter (SPMT).
Most of the route from the construction site to the loading point was through jungle. Mammoet surveyed the entire route and equipped the SPMT with turntables to navigate narrow sections of road. Mammoet also advised ECG on necessary road improvements and movement of power cables along the route to ensure safe passage.
Arriving at the port of Malabo, the flare and bridge were loaded onto a barge in a roll-on operation. HMC transported the barge to its final destination in the Alba B3 field, approximately 32 km offshore from Bioko Island. On site, the flare and bridge were brought together with the topside and jacket. All components were installed by HMC and its crane vessel. At the time of writing HFG was carrying out hook-up and final commissioning work.