Smit's sheerlegs tackle FPUs

19 March 2008

Installation of the flare boom for FPU P52 by Taklift 4 and Taklift 6

Installation of the flare boom for FPU P52 by Taklift 4 and Taklift 6

Marine heavy lift specialist Smit, based in the Netherlands, enjoyed a busy first half to the year with a number of projects. Activity focused on the outfitting of a large floating oil production unit in Brazil and major salvage assignments in West African waters.

The Smit heavy lifting sheerlegs Taklift 6 started work on the P51 FPU contract in Brazil at the end of 2006. The crane was rigged with a long boom to lift column sections at the Brasfels yard of Angra dos Reis, near Rio de Janeiro. The four columns had three sections and Taklift 6 was tasked to assemble two sections for each one.

A second sheerlegs, the 1,600 tonne-rated Taklift 4, rigged with a fly jib, lifted the assembled 900 tonne, 20 m high sections.

Taklift 4 then departed for a second Brasfels yard, at Niteroi, again close to Rio de Janeiro, where it was rigged with a fly jib and began the loadout of four modules onto two barges. Each module weighed up to 1,500 tonnes.

Tandem lifting

The sheerlegs returned to Angra dos Reis to join Taklift 6 for the final phase of the P51 project, in which eight modules were tandem lifted – four on the quayside, with the remaining four arriving by barge. The contract was concluded by Taklift 6, which was used for a range of lifts, including, pipe racks, helideck, pedestal cranes and a communications tower.

There is one final lifting assignment at P51 FPU. Smit is booked for the dual lift of its flare boom, following the P51's towout and Later this year Taklift 4 and Taklift 6 will start another contract in Brazil for offshore construction group QUIP, this time performing lifts for the turret-equipped P53 FPU tanker at the Rio Grande yard.

A third sheerlegs, Taklift 1, has also been active in South America. During the second quarter of this year it completed the transport and installation of seven modules for Venezuelan state oil and gas company PDVSA.

In other sectors, the sheerlegs have given support for a number of salvage operations, including raising the heavy lift semi-submersible Mighty Servant 3 and the Dutch dredger Nautilus, both in West African waters. The assignments were completed by Taklift 7. Meanwhile, Taklift 1 was redeployed from Maracaibo to the US Gulf, for the final phase of debris clearance, following the 2005 Katrina and Rita hurricanes. It was partnered by the Smit Cyclone, with 1,000 tonne lift capacity.

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