Jumbo Completes Transports for KNPC

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Jumbo Shipping has completed its eight-month heavy lift transport contract for client KNPC (Kuwait National Petroleum Company). The contract involved the transport of 37 reactors, separators and coke drums for KNPC’s Clean Fuels Project expansion. Jumbo’s Total Transport Solution included shipping and barging operations, as well as land transport.

From October 2010 until June 2011, Jumbo’s Heavy Lift Vessels Jumbo Jubilee and Fairpartner and its flat-top barge JB-2 transported heavy refinery equipment from Hazira, India and Porto Marghera, Italy to the storage area in the Port of Shuaiba in Kuwait. Weights varied from 280 t coke drums up to 1595 t reactors, with the largest reactor measuring 42 x 8.5 x 7.5 m. All equipment will be part of the Clean Fuels Project expansion of the Mina Al-Abdullah and Mina Al-Ahmadi refineries, approx. 30 km south of Kuwait City.

A total 26 heavy lifts were shipped from the Larsen & Toubro manufacturing plant in Hazira. Because of the extreme tidal range in the Tapi River and draft restrictions at the Larsen & Toubro jetty, Jumbo mobilized its flat-top barge JB-2. This heavy lift barge measures 91 x 27 m, can be ballasted and has a deck load capacity of 15 t/m2 (to compare: only two barges of this type are available in India). To keep the barge deck level with the top of the quayside during the rising tide, the JB-2 was equipped with no less than 26 ballast pumps. Jumbo’s Indian subcontractor Lift & Shift was responsible for the roll-on operation of all heavy lifts onto the supports on the JB-2, while engineering checks and on-site supervision were handled by Jumbo’s engineers.

The JB-2, towed by four tug boats, transported the cargo 8 km downriver from the L&T jetty to the Essar jetty where Jumbo’s J-Class HLVs, each outfitted with two 900 t Huisman mast cranes, could receive the barge alongside. Carefully engineered lift and stowage plans were executed to lift the reactors onto the Fairpartner and the Jumbo Jubilee, which set sail for a 4.5 day voyage to Shuaiba.

Most of the 11 separators and reactors used in Italy weighed over 1,000 t. To mobilize the ‘heavies’ from the manufacturer to Porto Marghera, one barge required barge-specific loadspreading saddles. Therefore, the final (transport & storage) saddles were pre-installed in the lower hold of the Jumbo Jubilee.

Gerard van As, Jumbo’s Team Leader Engineering says: “We were very pleased with the professional attitude of our client. For example, KNPC allowed Jumbo to play an active role in the design of the saddles and determine their exact dimensions and location underneath the cargo. This is unique, as usually heavy lift carriers are not involved in this process, even though it is of vital importance to the safe transport of heavy cargo. Close involvement also has a positive impact on costs.”

To allow fast discharge of Jumbo’s HLV’s in Shuaiba, Kuwait, all cargo items were temporarily stored near the quayside. Transportation to the storage area, 5 km from the port, required the design of a traffic management system, e.g. blocking off sections of public roads during the transport’s passage, extensive route surveys and discussing traffic management with the transport crew. The SPMTs (Self Propelled Modular Trailers) were owned and operated by ALE. As before, all engineering checks and supervision were within Jumbo’s scope. At the storage area all 37 pieces were offloaded onto concrete supports and load spreading mats. Finally, in order to protect the reactors’ inside from corrosion, the internal nitrogen pressure was checked and where necessary adjusted.

Over a period of 8 months and in close collaboration with client KNPC and subcontractors Lift & Shift and ALE, Jumbo Shipping delivered all cargo safely, on time and within budget.

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