25,000 Kilometers in 80 Days

It took exactly the same number of days for the characters of the well-known cartoon to make a trip around the globe using common transport means and achieve a set goal.


red and white cargo ship on sea during daytimeIn reality, two oversize 515-ton and 120-ton reactors with dimensions 35,690 х 7,500 х 5,185 and 14,260 х 4,500 х 4,830 millimeters had to be delivered “door-to-door” from the Port of Masan, South Korea to LUKOIL – PermNefteOrgSintez erection site for construction of the 24-100 middle distillate hydrotreatment unit using only specialized vehicles. INCOTEC CARGO was contracted to do this work.

As it always happens with carriage of bulky and heavy cargoes, consolidation of equipment posed the first difficulties. To minimize the costs of bringing road and plant facilities in compliance with the required parameters of loaded road trains, mounting ring of the heavier reactor was removed and a second set of cradles was ordered.
While the cargo was still in the manufacturer’s shop, INCOTEC CARGO, assisted by its Subcontractors, launched preparatory measures relating to the design and approval of construction / upgrade of the quay, bridges and other structures in the reactors’ route. It is worth mentioning that these works had been performed before the consignment arrived in Perm Oblast because of changeable weather and hydrologic conditions as well as “aspects” of the Russian document flow.

So, overnight into July 10, 2014 both reactors with SPTA were taken from the territory of Doosan Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd and transported to quay No. 4 in the Port of Masan by SPMTs. INCOTEC CARGO had chartered m/v Lena owned by SAL HEAVY LIFT and equipped with the cranes with a total lifting capacity of 550 tons two months in advance before the actual shipment took place. With 10 days of delay in manufacturing of the reactors, this was turning out critical as the deadline of our Client for the consignee under the contract was September 30, 2014 as the latest. Clearly, carriage of such cargoes calls for special crane vessel, which is impossible to find in a couple of days unlike common feeder vessels. A difficult choice had to be made. Thanks to our partnership relations with SAL HEAVY LIFT it was allowed to postpone berthing of the vessel with no demurrage paid. However, the vessel’s transit time was deliberately prolonged to make up for the owner’s loss. Due to concerted efforts of the vessel’s crew and agents the freight was loaded and secured within 24 hours. The vessel started out on July 10, 2014.

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M/v Lena arrived at the Port of Saint-Petersburg on September 04, 2014. Production facilities of the port are technically known to handle heavy weights up to 450 tons. The similar operation had been accomplished by INCOTEC CARGO in 2010 and included handling a 430-ton reactor for production association KINEF with the help of two floating cranes. But in our situation the weight was over 500 tons. Therefore, transfer via the warehouse was not even considered first. The only possible way was direct reloading from the shipboard to tug/barge towing arrangement (TBTA). However, this required permission of the Baltic Customs to perform clearing, although the freight was not even in a temporary storage warehouse. Thanks to well-coordinated work of a customs broker and preliminary preparations this issue was resolved in a prompt and timely manner.

To ship the reactors along the Russian inland waterways INCOTEC CARGO chartered a 1681-design barge reequipped for Ro-Ro unloading and reinforced at the points of cargo resting on supports and fitted out with ramps. Design features of this barge were well known by the works in 2004 (KINEF Project) and 2010 (TANECO Project). You will recall that these projects included shipment of two reactors weighing up to 1,065 tons and simultaneous transportation of two reactors, 1,250 tons each, later. Binding was to design a heavy lift positioning, loading and securing project for the barge and obtain approval of the Russian River Register. For safe reloading of reactors by portside cranes a pontoon was set afloat off a starboard. With ballast added to the pontoon stability of the vessel was ensured, while reloading was taking place. Its volume directly depended on the weight of discharged cargo and boom extension of vessel’s cranes.

As a result, both reactors were cleared, loaded (with replaced cradles on the 515-ton reactor) on premounted supports, secured, and followed by welding works within 24 hours.

TBTA left the Port of Saint-Petersburg overnight into September 07, 2014 at bridge raising time. The transit time could not be reduced because of frequent fogs along the way and a low water level in Gorodetskiy lock. Therefore, three alternating tugboats accompanied the barge along the route.

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Meanwhile, construction of the quay for Ro-Ro handling of the reactors was drawing to an end at the transshipment point in Ust-Tara village. SGM “bedding” was prepared based upon current and anticipated water level in Kama River, as well as draft of the arriving barge. Also the road bed along the entire route, 21 kilometers long, was brought in compliance with specifications of the loaded road trains (maximum values – length 40 meters, width 7.5 meters, height 6.7 meters, GTW 714 tons and turning radius from 21 to 38 meters).

It is worth touching upon reinforcement of the bridge over Mulyanka River. At the transportation project planning stage technical state and carrying capacity of the bridge structure were under inspection revealing defects and improper current state of the bridge in terms of durability, safety and load-carrying capacity. Serious defects were detected in the bridge roadbed members and bridge framework. The structure did not meet the applicable traffic safety requirements.

Calculations made by engineering bureau Inventa showed that only elimination of all given defects and installation of temporary supports to reduce design spans and, accordingly, framework girders stresses, would provide for required strength. Bridge demountable structures MIK-S were used as temporary supports.

Riverbed cleaning was followed by construction of crushed stone bedding, placing of slabs, metal sheets and installation of MIK-S posts on this structure under the bridge longitudinal girders.

TBTA with a tugboat Shlyuzovoy-240 arrived at the port road of Ust-Tara village on September 23, 2014. Ballasting operations started immediately upon TBTA berthing. This implied accommodating of almost 400 tons of ballast in the aft sections. In the course of ballasting water level in Kama River began to change once again. This situation had been anticipated, therefore, some of the PAG slabs (reinforced concrete prestressed slabs) had been removed and elevation of the fill-up quay lowered. This resulted in required barge / ramp / rolling on the quay slope for a safe ride of the loaded SPMTs.

But it was impossible to start out for the erection site the following day. Transportation route crossed Shosse Kosmonavtov, which is the main highway from Perm, and it was not permitted to block it on Friday. That is why the haulage was approved only on Saturday morning, September 27, 2014. Engineering companies, which happened to work in the Urals, are well aware of how hard it is to cross the ridges. Never-ending ascents and descents kept everyone on their toes. Once again, our long-time partners Keen Mark did their best. Moreover, along the road train route we had to use KKS towers to deenergize and raise over 30 HV lines as was agreed upon with PermEnergo. All these activities had to be carried out not to let the haul rigs idle for a long time. As you may recall, the total route length made 21 kilometers, and average speed of the loaded SPMTs was only 1.5 kilometers per hour with 11 daylight hours. As a result, the whole transportation from the quay to the final stop of the haul rigs on LUKOIL-PermNefteOrgSintez site took 10 hours. The next day, on September 28, 2014, the load was delivered to the erection site.

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Construction site of the 24-100 middle distillate hydrotreatment unit is located on the territory of LUKOIL-PermNefteOrgSintez – operational refinery with a great many limiting structures (pipelines, racks, posts, lighting towers, etc.), complete removal of which is not possible – the plant cannot be stopped.

To meet the required dimensions of the road train, LUKOIL-PermNefteOrgSintez performed road bend broadening, takedown of lighting towers and cable rack posts, deepening (up to 2.5 meters) of the road to meet the overall height when moving under two racks.

It is worth mentioning that the process of transportation was witnessed not only by the Client and consignee, but also by representatives of some heavy freight forwarders. It was unanimously concluded that the shipment turned out successful and was completed on time. Thus, INCOTEC CARGO once again demonstrated that it is one of the leaders in project transportation of heavy and OOG cargoes capable of meeting the full range of “door-to-door” delivery issues.