On the hook: Two “hotels” for the Caspian Sea

MV “Beluga Stavanger” transports huge accommodation blocks from Dubai to the Ukraine

MV “Beluga Stavanger” transports huge accommodation blocks from Dubai to the Ukraine.

Visitors of the desert emirate Dubai encounter superlatives almost everywhere: The world’s highest building or its largest artificial islands and other supersized construction projects such as huge hotels, shopping malls or leisure parks are all located within the area of the futuristic City of Dubai at the Persian Gulf. In nearby Jebel Ali, by the way the largest man-made port of the world, MV “Beluga Stavanger” fits perfectly well into this record-creating environment: The two massive accommodation blocks that the multipurpose heavylift carrier lifted on board on July 2, 2010 are comparable to fully equipped hotels featuring all necessary facilities for living.

The first block measuring 39 x 16 x 9 meters was stowed under deck and secured by a total of 28 stoppers. Swinging the 500-ton unit required high precision by the crane drivers since – referring to the width – it was only slightly smaller than the vessel’s hold. The other, even three meters longer block placed the cargo professionals on the hatchcover of the vessel. All in all 38 stoppers and four lashings on each side kept it in position during the sea voyage to Mariupol in the Ukraine.

The Beluga team on site had to decide quickly when a major surprise came up during the lift with the bigger and heavier piece already on the hook. “We faced a list of two degrees on the cargo as the given center of gravity turned out to be wrong. Maneuvering the heavylift module in between the vessel’s cranes becomes more challenging like that”, says Prakash Mohanasundaram, one of the Transport Engineers of Beluga. “However, after an immediate analysis of the situation we decided to load the cargo anyway, not least as two degrees are still accepted by the class for marine operations.”

No matter the unforeseen changes the whole loading could be completed within two days, one for preparation and one for lifting of both of the accommodation blocks. Early morning the third day the vessel started sailing. After two weeks time the cranes of MV “Beluga Stavanger” successfully discharged the two “hotels” onto an alongside mooring barge in Mariupol at the Sea of Azov. As a matter of course, the transport engineers of Beluga had revised the lifting plan according to the new center of gravity. Thus, the accommodation blocks swung in a perfect horizontal position through the summerly hot Ukrainian air. Their voyage continued afterwards via Don and Volga to the Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea.

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


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