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How to move a mountain

Transporting 1100 tonnes of buoy requires thorough planning

1100-tonne cargos require steady hands.
1100-tonne cargos require steady hands.
This buoy was so tall it restricted vision from the special heavy lifter vessel's bridge.
This buoy was so tall it restricted vision from the special heavy lifter vessel's bridge.

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Beluga Shipping CEO Niels Stolberg says transporting a 1100 tonnes buoy across the ocean requires thorough planning and meticulous execution

Transportation specialist Beluga Shipping was founded in 1995 and offers heavy lifting and transportation services.

The Beluga team consists of 1300 seafarers and 500 experts, experienced in chartering and engineering. The firm provides tailored transportation solutions that are professionally conducted worldwide.

“Whether it is a long and heavy demethanizer, a complex defractionator, structures and equipment for offshore platforms, modules for a plant system or a dismantled plant itself which has to be shipped, whether the cargo has to be loaded from the pier onto the carrier or discharged from the ship onto a barge offshore, Beluga Shipping offers creative, safe and sound solutions,” Niels Stolberg, president and CEO of Beluga.

Among the many projects undertaken by Beluga, Stolberg lists the transportation of a particular buoy as among the toughest and most rewarding. “The dimensions of this buoy outrange many conventional vessels: A weight of 1100 tonnes and a height of 27 metres making it the world’s largest in its category. The loading of such an object requires absolute precision and detailed preparation,” states Stolberg. Due to the massive size of the cargo, the firm was forced to restructure the deck of the ship which was carrying it, as it restricted the sight from the bridge of the vessel. Stolberg describes the other changes which were necessary: “A specially designed grillage had been welded and was fixed to the weather deck of the vessel.

One of the main tasks was guaranteeing the structural integrity of the vessel: The weight and size of the buoy and the grillage put tremendous loads on the ship’s structure, in some parts they exceeded 200 tonnes per square metre.”

Beluga is to launch a series of specifically designed multipurpose heavy lift vessels late this year.

“From late 2009 onwards, the new Beluga P class, a series of specifically designed multipurpose heavy lift vessels, leaves the docks,” reveals Stolberg. “The Beluga P class provides for 16 powerhouses with combined 800 to 1400 tonnes crane capacities, tonnage of up to 20 000 tonnes deadweight, moderate bunker consumption and ice class Finnish/Swedish 1A.”

“These vessels can operate in any port of the world and thus fulfil the market requirements for flexibility and a wide range of applications. They also underline the company’s strategic focus on the stable and growing super heavy lift market segment,” says Stolberg.

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