Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries (IHI)

Beluga team masters loading of 736 tons reactor

MV “Beluga Intonation”

Cranes of MV “Beluga Intonation” lifted cargo ex barge.

On February 4, 2009, the Master of MV “Beluga Intonation” Johan Buysse and his crew tackled a truly ambitious task in the port of the Japanese city of Yokohama: The loading of a super heavy-weight, a 736 tons reactor. The challenging lift needed especially elaborated pre-planning and high accuracy because other cargo constrained the space on the weather deck. In the port of Masan, South Korea the vessel had already loaded three plant components for the chemical industry, a 71 metres refining column, a 58 metres recovery column and a 30 metres long saturator. All three items weighed between 229 and 350 tons.

Around 10 o’clock in the morning the lift in Yokohama started. A small barge with the 35 metres long reactor moored alongside the multipurpose heavy-lift project carrier. Due to the extreme torsion forces which impact on the vessel during the lift of such dimensions, strict safety regulations had to be applied. Only the team members actively involved in the operation – Captain, Chief Officer, Cargo Superintendent and the two crane drivers – stayed on board.

Tons of ballast water kept the vessel in balance. “The most critical point during the whole process is when the cargo passes the ship’s rail. This is the most instable moment because the cargo passes the highest point and the centre of gravity of the vessel is the highest as well”, explains Roberto Frigeni, Director of the Beluga Transport Engineering and on site to support the team. “Due to the limited space on deck we could not take advantage of much room to swing the reactor and had to place it precisely on the designated position.” There, steel mats were spread to reduce the enormous point load impacting on the hatchcovers of the vessel through the cargo.

Thanks to the excellent pre-planning and cooperation between all team members this super heavy-lift could be successfully concluded. Subsequent to lashing and fixing the valuable freight on deck the vessel was prepared for sailing. After leaving the port area MV “Beluga Intonation” set course 228° and headed for Singapore, her first and only stop on the way to the port of destination in India.

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