F.H. Bertling Logistics plans and completes 909-tonne tower delivery to Singapore
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F.H. Bertling Logistics plans and completes 909-tonne tower delivery to Singapore

RollDock SkyF.H. Bertling Logistics

The engineering team of Bertling Logistics has been hired by FTAI Ocean to move a massive 909-tonne intervention tower from the north of England to Singapore. 

The story of the transport began in the autumn of 2019 when Bertling Logistics and FTAI Ocean teamed up to discuss the transportation of the structure. The new smart tower system will facilitate integrated riser-less and riser-based well intervention operations on FTAI Ocean’s flagship DP3 Well Intervention Vessel the PRIDE.

To find the best technical and commercial solution, Bertling Logistics performed a study for all possible shipment modes, including heavy lift vessels, gearless vessels with shore/floating cranes, and ro-ro vessels and chose to transport the tower onboard Roll Group’s S-Class heavy lift vessel RollDock Sky.

The tower was located at Port Clarence on the river Tees in Middlesbrough, near the home of Bertling’s Heavy-Lift and Engineering Team. The two known operational limitations for the location were available draught alongside the yard and a headroom restriction downstream in the form of the historic Tees Transporter Bridge.

Addressing these two issues; to pass under the bridge, the tower had to be stowed inside the hull of the RollDock Sky, and to mitigate the draught issue, the tower would need to be “lightered” by barge across the river alongside the heavy lift vessel where much deeper draught was available at the Port of Middlesbrough.

Bertling Logistics advised the best method of jacking the tower up to SPMT height, a challenging task for a structure of almost 1,000Te and over 40m high. Four 500Te capacity perpetual climbing jacks were proposed, and Bertling Logistics provided design assistance to allow the retrofitting of the required jacking lugs that would ultimately allow the insertion of the SPMT’s beneath the tower to allow it to be site moved to the quay edge.

The selected vessel type had an open dock hull arrangement. Although width-restricted in the hold by the aft vessel crane, a stowage plan was agreed upon.

During discussions between Bertling Logistics and the Harbour Master, safe passage under the Transporter Bridge at a certain tide height was confirmed as feasible and suitable draught and tidal curves were confirmed to be available during neap tides on six days per calendar month.

Additional OOG cargo had been added to the scope of Bertling, which include the transportation to their Middlesbrough base and stowage of general cargo into 20 x SOC’s as well as loading 5 x items of additional OOG cargo.

On October 18, 2022, the OOG cargo was loaded using the vessel’s gear alongside the berth at Port Clarence, and the vessel laid by at Port of Middlesbrough overnight. The following day, the tower was ro-ro loaded to the vessel, and following 10 percent securing having been applied to the tower, the vessel relocated to the Port of Middlesbrough to complete sea fastening and load the containerised cargo.

On the evening of October 22, the vessel sailed, passing under the Transporter Bridge with just over a metre of clearance. Due to the height of the tower close monitoring of the sea passages and weather routing have been required to keep the acceleration forces in with the design parameters of the tower.

Following passage via the Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean, and the strait of Malacca’s, it arrived in Singapore on November 20, after 28 days of ocean passage. In preparation for the loadout, the Singapore-based engineering team from Bertling Logistics prepared the required installation of an elevated ramp on the shipyard quay and spacer barges to mitigate the limited draught at the receiving jetty.

On November 24, the tower was successfully reloaded onto SPMT trailers and rolled out of the vessel on the yard.

Author: Adnan Bajic

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