Heavylift / Breakbulk
Tanks for Saudi Arabia
Close cooperation between a group of Dutch enterprises in February saw BigLift Shipping’s heavylift vessel the «Happy Delta» loaded with 13 steel storage tanks destined for Saudi Arabia. The ship’s journey from Rotterdam, across the windswept Bay of Biscay and through the Suez Canal, took three weeks.
Pan-national Dutch cooperation ensured that a challenging heavylift transport task to Jubail (Saudi Arabia) was successfully completed recently. The contract called on the services of the broker Vertom, the builder Sloot Tankbouw, the stevedore Broekman and, last but not least, BigLift Shipping, the operator of the heavylift vessel Happy Delta. 13 steel tanks for the storage of chemicals were loaded onto the ship in Rotterdam in February.
The largest tanks weighed no less than 106 t, measured 14 m across and were approximately 20.8 m high. The equipment’s weight was not the central issue, as the Happy Delta’s two 400 t cranes that easily managed the 900 t overall. The total volume of 40,000 cbm was a more challenging aspect for the Antwerp-based shipping line’s Happy D-type vessel. The size, construction and stowage of the cargo, and the lashing system needed, made for a complex task. The builder and BigLift’s project experts found a good fastening solution using clips for the fragile, thin-walled, storage tanks.
Six of the tanks were manufactured by Sloot Tankbouw at the site of Oostwouder Tank- & Silobouw (OTS) in ’t Zand (Netherlands). It took two days to ship them over the IJsselmeer in a horizontal position on barges, and thence through Amsterdam and the Dutch inland waterway system to Rotterdam. The seven other tanks were built at Sloot Tankbouw’s own yard in Bolnes (Rotterdam), and were also shipped to Rotterdam’s Waalhaven on a barge, but in an upright position.
Sloot Tankbouw and its Saudi Arabian client kept a close eye on the process of loading all of the storage tanks aboard the Happy Delta. The horizontally-transported tanks were picked up from the barge in a tandem lift operation that also turned them to a vertical position. The other tanks were loaded in single lifts.
The Happy Delta reached Saudi Arabia after three weeks, sailing across the windswept Bay of Biscay and through the Suez Canal before unloading the goods in the Persian Gulf port of Jubail.