Heavylift / Breakbulk
A very good (re)action
The greater the dimensions the more important the details. The specialist Hansa Heavy Lift loaded a 56 m reactor onto one of its ships recently, and every centimetre counted in the process.
Loading massive modules frequently calls for millimetre precision. Shipping a reactor weighing no less than 405 t from Mumbai to New Orleans proved to be a rather interesting challenge for a team from the specialist company Hansa Heavy Lift (HHL) in August. The first consignment was a 56 m reactor, as was the second shipment handled in the same operation. The latter may have been a «mere» 39 m long – but it was equally difficult to handle, as it weighed in at a staggering 830 t.
The reactors were delivered to Mumbai by barge. There the company heaved them on board one of Hansa Heavy Lift’s P2 vessels, the HHL Richards Bay, directly from on the water. «Due to the great length of the reactor we could not load the piece parallel,» Heiner Heise, Hansa Heavy Lift’s cargo superintendent in charge of the operation, illustrated.
The solution, the specialist continues, was to develop a detailed plan together with the HHL team, on the basis of which the two on-board cranes were swung out and away to their maximum outreach inch by inch, thus ensuring that the overly-long reactor could be heaved carefully on board. The smallest crane in particular had to be swung out as far as possible. There was nevertheless not much room for manoeuvre. «The equipment finally reached its spot above the hold, and was then kept parallel by the two cranes whilst it was lowered into the cargo space,» Heise elaborates.
This delicate and time-consuming process did not bring the complicated job to an end, however. Getting the heaviest piece on the vessel was not much easier. The hoisting of the 830 t consignment had to be carried out with only a 10 cm clearance on each side of the beam underneath the cargo, so HHL lifted the piece straight up.
Ian Broad, Hansa Heavy Lift’s director of cargo management, points out that HHL’s experts had to place heavy load platforms under each saddle, in order to distribute the weight evenly. «Prior to this, we had already ensured that every measurement was totally exact, as we would not be able to move the heavy lift platforms again, once the cargo was in its place,» he adds.
Joerg Roehl, the chief commercial officer and managing director of Hansa Heavy Lift, is confident of HHL’s abilities to handle such tasks. «We have the expertise required to deal with ever larger shipments. Our ships, our specialist equipment and our experienced teams enabled us to successfully tackle this challenging move.»