Maiden manoeuvres from ALE

By Euan Youdale01 September 2011

One of the two de-methaniser vessels being lowered onto SPMTs at Mina Zayed Port

One of the two de-methaniser vessels being lowered onto SPMTs at Mina Zayed Port

ALE used its 20 tonne per square metre ALE 300 barge for the first time during the transport of two 830 tonne de-methaniser vessels in the UAE.

The 98 m long de-methaniser vessels, part of the Integrated Gas Development Project in Abu Dhabi, UAE were transported by sea from Mina Zayed Port to Ruwais and onwards by land to the Habshan 5 Process Plant.

ALE received the two vessels at Mina Zayed Port using two self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) in 4-file, 12-axle and 4-file, 14-axle split trailer configurations. Measuring 98 x 8.5 x 8 m (L/W/H), they the largest vessels to have been handled at the port. Each vessel was lashed down, then loaded out directly to the ALE 300 barge and lashed and secured to the barge.

"A special feature of ALE 300 is its above-standard deck loading capacity of 20 tonne per square metre," commented Richard Peckover, ALE executive director Middle East. "This maximises load capacity and minimises load spreading requirements, setting a new standard for efficiency in barge loading operations."

Following load-in at the Ruwais Industrial Area Services Harbour, the de-methaniser vessels underwent a 'jack and pack' operation. Using the SPMTs' integral jacking stroke, each vessel was jacked up from 1.6 m under the saddles to 3.1 m to change to a bolster, or turn table configuration. The SPMTs were then fitted with heavy-duty bolster turn tables and load spreading for land transportation along Highway E11.

"Transporting the vessels from Ruwais to the first parking area 12 km from the city required a purpose-built road, which was constructed in coordination with Ruwais authorities, as well as a purpose-built section of the central reservation on the highway," said Cameron Waugh, ALE general manager. "Once we reached the first parking area we then had to change the SPMTs to a split trailer configuration to meet Department of Transport guidelines for the remainder of the journey along the highway."

The 100 km journey to Habshan took seven nights and required ALE to negotiate road works, bypasses, overhead gantries and sign boards. On reaching the final parking area, the transport configuration was changed back to a bolster configuration to meet site access restrictions and manoeuvring requirements for the remaining 20 km.

"The final transport through the site, in coordination with Abu Dhabi Critical National Infrastructure Authority, was conducted in daylight hours with a total of three kilometres negotiated along a purpose-built route to the delivery position and foundation," said Cameron .

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