MV “Beluga Sydney” transports coke drums from China to India in a made to measure operation

A hand’s breadth between ground and keel

Monday, 15. November 2010

MV “Beluga Sydney” transports coke drums from China to India in a made to measure operation

Working efficiently means employing as much as needed to get a job done in a safe and secure mode – but not more. Once again, Beluga delivered an example for an absolutely tailored transport solution following this policy. The vessel’s draft, the swing area of the cranes and the placement of the cargo were all issues to preplan carefully for the transport of two 40-meter coke drums from Ningbo, China, to Vadinar, India, in September 2010. The team had only few centimeters to spare in the project.

The two coke drums challenged the creativity and the skills of the team on site. “Due to their dimensions and their weight of more than 430 tons each, the full power of the vessel’s cranes was needed. Their outreach touched the 30-meter mark”, explains Beluga Cargo Superintendent Rick Zhu. “While moving the cargo from the alongside barge to the hatch covers, sometimes only an air gap of 20 centimeters separated the cargo from the cranes or other cargo.”

The Transport Engineers of Beluga took advantage of the specific shape of the two coke drums to stow their conical tops nested. Hence, the cargo could be placed straight which increased the stability of the vessel for the sea passage. But before heading to the East Chinese Sea, the vessel had to pass the mouth of the Qiantang and Yong Rivers featuring a depth of only 9.3 meters. With more than 10,000 tons of bulk previously loaded under deck, the draft of MV “Beluga Shanghai” already reached 9.1 meters. “We passed the river with high tide and partly only 20 centimeters of water under the keel. Thanks to our well preplanning and the good knowledge of the conditions here in this Chinese port we could handle the situation without any bad surprises and deliver a made-to-measure shipment”, concluded Zhu after the vessel had set a Southwestern course along the Chinese coastline to reach her next port of destination.

About 5000 sea miles further MV “Beluga Sydney” discharged the cargo on a barge at Vadinar, Northwest India. “The coke drums are under pressure and therefore quite sensitive goods. But it could be more complicated even: We did the same discharge already offshore, that is much more challenging as you have to handle current, swell and waves with a vessel only secured by a single anchor line and her anti-heeling system”, explains Georg Leimig, Beluga Cargo Superintendent in Vadinar. “However, no matter the spot, you must preplan extremely well in such remote places. Any material or support you do not consider a fair time before is hard to obtain the very moment you need it. Making such a project run smoothly takes a lot of experience and good contacts to the locals.”

And an excellent team: “The crew of Captain Uverski did a great job, in China as well as here in India”, says Leimig. “The sustainable inhouse education of Beluga promotes responsibility and qualification and that bears fruit, not only here. Chief Officer Helge Kühl started years ago as a cadet in the Sea Academy and was now in charge for the lift of two 430-ton pieces.” Well-bred know-how which customers benefit from: The all in all third shipment of coke drums is already booked for MV “Beluga Sao Paulo”.

These coke drums form a critical part of the oil refinery being built by Essar Oil Ltd at Vadinar which is part of USD 15 billion Essar Group and growing rapidly internationally.

See more about the MV “Beluga Sydney” and the P1-Series


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