How the Columns were Shipped to Ryazan…

orange and white boat on blue sea during daytime

Concentrating efforts on significant upgrade of productive capacities, Ryazan oil refinery has become one of the leaders in the run for European standard. Starting from July 1, 2012, the refinery has switched to production of motor gasoline conforming to Euro-5 standard.

Now, the plant is facing a new task – construction of the hydrotreatment complex which will allow production of all fuels at Ryazan refinery with reduced sulphur content in the end-use product and Euro-5 plus class already by 2015. However, production of light petroleum products of better quality at the refinery also implies construction of a sulphur removal unit and refurbishment of flare system. Oversized and overweight equipment keeps on arriving at the plant in view of these tasks.

One of the projects to deliver hydrocracking unit components is currently under implementation by CHANDLER Group. The equipment manufactured by International Alliance Group is coming from USA and Japan. The volume of the whole batch is 4,730 freight tons. The heaviest pieces of cargo on this project are the Japanese reactors weighing 295 tons. Sovfracht is the General Forwarder.

As shared by the carrier, the main difficulty of the project consisted in a very demanding timeframe required for transport preparation and execution. Another aspect was the fact that the American part of equipment had originally been intended for a refinery in USA, and then it was purchased by the Russian party. Therefore, CHANDLER specialists had to make a lot of modifications needed for safe cargo transport. For example, they had to fabricate additional cradles for the fractionator and recycle gas scrubber shipped from the factory in Emporia, Kansas.

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More cradles were designed and fabricated for diesel strippers shipped from the works in Sand Springs, Georgia. Transportation of equipment was preceded by thorough development and implementation of cargo delivery to the consolidation terminal in Houston which was effected both by vehicles and railroad.

The most complicated and interesting project was carriage of a fractionator manufactured in Emporia and measuring 50 meters in length and 4.3 meters in diameter. In order to reduce the expenses for transporting this load, it was decided to deploy motor transport to deliver the column to the nearest port located in the city of Catoosa, Oklahoma. Then, it was required to reload the cargo on the barge and tramp it to New Orleans together with other barges. Preparations for the 50-meter column transport took about a month; during this period, the route was surveyed and all required permits and approvals of private companies and state authorities were obtained. Total route extension from Emporia to Catoosa Port made about 570 km. It took two days to haul the fractionator with 12 hours of actual travel time.

While transporting the separator vessel, 5.15 m high, along the entire route of 1,200 miles from Emporia to Houston, the convoy was driving escorted by three fire trucks, three police cars and six escort vehicles of power teams which were responsible for hoisting overhead lines and cellular network cables. Interestingly, because of snowfalls hitting Kansas, the local authorities did not permit passage through Emporia for one month. As per the oversize freight regulations, the road surface in this area shall be absolutely clean from snow in the radius of 30 centimeters from wheels, to avoid drifting and crossing into road shoulders.

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All the cargoes arriving from USA under this project were agreed to be consolidated at one of the TEXAS Terminals located in the Port of Houston. In its turn, Antwerp (Belgium) was selected as the meeting point for all the cargoes from USA and Japan for on-delivery to Ryazan, which has its reason, considering the fact that this port is the main and largest point in Europe for transhipment of project, abnormal-sized and heavy-lift freight. Transatlantic shipment was entrusted to Rickmers Linie vessel.

Upon arrival of all the items from USA and Japan to Antwerp, 10 oversize and heavy pieces will be loaded on two barges and dispatched to Ryazan. Finalizing activities are currently underway to prepare direct transhipment of cargoes from ocean-going vessels on the barges. The final stage of this transport operation will be highlighted in the next issue of our magazine.