In resource hubs around the world, pre-fabricated modular components are enhancing construction efficiency. The modules are getting bigger. Moving them from fabrication yard to construction site on-time, requires a new breed of global logistic specialist, like FLS.
Few modular loads posed bigger transportation challenges than the surge bin from Gladstone’s new Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal. Fabrication in Vietnam offered compelling construction efficiencies, but the design of a 24 metre tall, 350 tonne structure, demanded that it make the journey to Australia, upright.
FLS Logistics planners were engaged by the Wiggins Island project contractor before fabrication of the bed structure started, working with designers to plan every phase of the journey to Australia. They looked after every stage of the process, including thorough cleaning of the yard to satisfy Australian quarantine requirements, the 20km down-river barge journey from fabrication yard to deep water port, and the deep-water transfer of the bin from barge to heavy-lift cargo ship.
“The centre of gravity was very high up on the bin. We had to come up with a solution for sea fastening, which would ensure a safe transfer to the vessel.” – Mark Pembroke, Director of Business Development, FLS Australia.
The fastening design solution, involved an array of rigid pipe lashings, installed after the bin was positioned on the ship’s deck. Welded into place, they restrained the towering top-heavy deck cargo during the two week ocean crossing.
The FLS shipping plan covered every detail, right down to a requirement for daily inspection of the pipe lashings, to ensure the constant movement of the ship’s hull didn’t compromise the security of the welds.
After two weeks cruising at a steady thirteen knots, the ship and the remarkable deck cargo reached Gladstone. Then, the whole process from the Vietnam end was repeated, in reverse.
The pipe lashings which stabilized the load were no longer needed, so they went. There was a cursory quarantine inspection, a special bio-security plan for the cargo, which meant the full inspection could occur after unloading at Wiggins Island.
“Because of the nature and the size of the cargo, particularly the surge bin, it was far more economical for us to put it over the other side of the ship and land it on a barge, and do the final inspections on-site. We worked with quarantine and developed a bio-security management plan, which enabled us to do that.” – Stephen Scott, Managing Director, FLS Australia.
With a 3000 tonne barge waiting, the on-board cranes lifted the delicate load clear of the deck. With one counter ballast keeping the ship level, the bin was gently swung over the seaward side, maneuvered into position, and secured to the barge deck. Then, a short passage across Gladstone Harbour, to the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal construction site.
There was just a small window of uploading opportunity on rising and falling tides, as the barge aligned with the height of the wharf. Then, ten months after the meticulous planning started, the surge bin arrive at site, and was ready for installation. This was a critical mission for the Coal Terminal construction program. Any hitch could have caused significant delays in the project completion.
Project manager LFM, engaged FLS once before fabrication started, to act as a logistics partner, providing an end-to-end solution to a potentially daunting transport requirement. A single point of contact to manage the risk for this complex task.
There were other challenges in this shipment, including eleven large gallery components, pre-fabricated with concrete slab sections already in place. They ranged from forty to seventy-eight tonnes, and needed careful handling, with no flexing during loading, transit or unloading.
“FLS is a specialist in super-heavy lift, and out-of-gauge cargos. With our experience, we believe we can deliver anything, anywhere, anytime.”- Mark Pembroke, Director of Business Development, FLS Australia.
Watch the video below to see how FLS managed the WICET Surge Bin project.
Also see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te3n77yHMKY for more footage of this project.
Alternatively you can watch this video on Vimeo:
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