Vessel / Rig: Maersk Deliverer
This complex project comprised a variety of components, including crewing, vessel agency, husbandry, ships repairs, freight management and clearing and forwarding. The Maersk Project Team, which included the Technical Department, the Technical Manager, the Operations Manager and HR Personnel, flew into Walvis Bay and was hosted at Logistics Support Services Offices. The team arrived two weeks earlier than necessary due to an unforeseen delay in the arrival of the rig.
Shortly prior to the arrival of the Deliverer, LSS brought in the first charter vessel in order to install the diving equipment on the deck. A supply tug was also brought in so that the loading of equipment, stores and spares could commence. The freight component of this project was significant. 51 pieces of heavy equipment of 18 tonnes each were brought in via road. Air freight shipments totalling 99 pieces, the heaviest of which was 8 tonnes, were flown into Windhoek and then transported by road to Walvis Bay.
20 containers came in via sea freight, the heaviest of which was seven tonnes. All the freight was delivered to Walvis Bay over a two week period, and LSS carried out all the clearing and forwarding formalities for the freight at the various borders. The dimensions of all the spares were carefully calculated and packed into half heights (7 x 6m half heights and 5 x 3m half heights). LSS supplied the half heights for this purpose which will be offloaded when the rig returns to Namibia. The loading of the half heights was done one week in advance prior to the arrival of the rig in order to save time. LSS booked and utilised dedicated space at Namport to store the freight in order to make it easier to load once the rig arrived.
Once the rig arrived, the freight was brought from storage using 12m trucks, then a 16 tonne forklift was used to move the spares closer to the quayside. A 250 tonne mobile crane had been booked for the project and was stationed on the quayside in order to load the freight onto the supply tug for transport to the rig. In addition to on loading new equipment, old equipment such as riser joints, a thruster and cylinders needed to be backloaded and transported out of Walvis Bay. The new thruster weighing 55 tonnes had previously arrived by sea. Once the rig arrived, the onloading of the spares commenced via the supply tug.
Then the supply tug was moved to the port side and a diving vessel was brought to the starboard side in order to start setting up for the thruster change. The new thruster was taken on board and a jacking system was put in place. The thruster change took approximately three days, thereafter the old thruster and the strand jack that was used for installation was backloaded and shipped out approximately 2 weeks later to Europe on a break bulk vessel. Whilst the thruster change was in progress, the supply vessel continued to onload and backload equipment on the ort side of the rig. Four trips in total were completed in order to complete the transfer of freight to and from the Deliverer. 6 cylinders weighing 17 tonnes each were offloaded and stored at Namib Bonded Warehouse. LSS arranged for special crates to be built to secure the cylinders so that they could be transported on the carrier vessel to Europe.
Two riser joints, each weighing 35 metric tonnes and measuring 80 feet in length were offloaded from the rig and secured onto abnormal load trucks for transport to South Africa for repair. In total four abnormal load trucks were used, three which went to Cape Town and one which travelled to Port Elizabeth (Coega). In addition, four normal trucks were used to transport NOV drilling equipment to Port Elizabeth. Meanwhile, on day 2 and day 4 of the project, two crew changes of 50 personnel each took place, and both on-signing and off-signing crew were treated to a crew diner. In total, 120 crew members and 50 technicians were brought in for the project. On day 4, the rig started taking bunkering from the vessel the San Padre Pio. The Deliverer took on board approximately 1000 metric tonnes of fuel before sailing to Port Elizabeth (Coega).
The entire project took approximately 5 days, whereas the initial estimate was approximately 8 days. One of the most challenging parts of the project was when offloading the 55 tonne thruster, because this could not be managed by the 250 tonne mobile crane. It was necessary to book an additional berth in order to utilise the ports 180 tonne fixed crane for this offload. Prevailing weather conditions were also a challenge. High winds and high seas were forecast therefore the time frame for the project needed to be cut back significantly.