AAL ships SPM buoys from Jebel Ali to Persian Gulf
AAL Shipping has completed a transport of two heavy lift single-point mooring (SPM) buoys from Jebel Ali in Dubai to offshore anchorage in the Persian Gulf for DHL Industrial Projects. The buoys, each weighing 340 metric tons will enable offshore interconnection with tankers, loading or offloading gas and liquid products in the gulf.
AAL delivered the buoys on its Europe – Middle East/India – Asia monthly miner service, onboard the 31,000-dwt mega-size heavy lift vessel, AAL Kobe. The company faced load-spreading challenges when planning stowage due to the cargo’s shape and size. This adds to the tight delivery schedule and offshore wind and visibility consideration when discharging the buoys in open water.
Commenting on the operation, Yahaya Sanusi, deputy head of AAL’s transport engineering department, said, “Planning took six weeks. The operation demanded exacting stowage requirements, including extensive load-spreading calculations, strict protection of filling pipes protruding from the bottom of both units and pin-point positioning by the Master and his crew to ensure optimum load and discharge space. In solution, temporary platforms were designed and constructed onto which the buoys would sit, comprising 750mm tween deck panels, additional heavy load platforms (HLPs) and wooden blocks.”
The original plan was to ship only one buoy which required a complete redesign of the stowage solution. Additional pressure was put on the vessel crew as, due to Covid restrictions, none of the engineering team could attend the discharge offshore.
The operation follows the company’s unveiling of fleet expansion strategy in which the company has made purchases on the second-hand market and unveiled orders for a minimum of four mega-size heavy lift MPP vessels.