||SBM Offshore contracted NMT Global Project Logistics to move a consignment of approximately 10,178 tonnes of mooring chain from Bilbao to Batam. The chains were the largest chains ever produced and designed to withstand loads generated by a 1:10,000 year storm.
Due to the draft limitations in Bilbao and Batam, it was not feasible to load all 10,178 tonnes of chains on a single shipment. The optimum solution was to ship the chains into two shipments with a minimum 20-day gap between the arrival dates of the two vessels. This was in order to ensure that the receivers had sufficient time to transport the chains from the first shipment off the receiving quay and into storage.
On our customer’s behalf, we negotiated a contract with the ship owner’s and provided technical expertise and assistance throughout. This assistance commenced with a HAZID meeting with all parties involved to identify potential hazards throughout the operation and put appropriate control measures in place to control identified risks. We incorporated the HAZID output in our Transport Manual, which included:
• Mooring plans for the vessel.
• Vessel loading/offloading sequence, including relevant stability and ballasting plans and calculations.
• Cargo lashing and securing calculations for vessel including NDT of welds.
• Voyage plan, including weather restrictions and route criteria.
• Draft surveys, quay specifications.
• Safety measures.
• All equipment (Class) certifications
NMT Global Project Logistics were engaged to attend all meetings, toolbox talks and to manage loading operations.
The chains were initially loaded at the Deusto Channel in Bilbao using two large mobile cranes onto barges. The barges delivered the chains to Santurzi port and the chains discharged onto the quayside.
Once the attending Marine Warranty Surveyor had approved the Transport Plan, loading operations commenced. Particular care was required during cargo handling operations to maintain vessel and cargo stability. We loaded the chains using two port cranes operating in tandem and working hand over hand. The cranes alternately lifted pre-slung bundles of chain into the vessel’s hold with a connecting length of chain between each bundle. Before each lift, we visually inspected the lifting slings for integrity.
It was necessary to secure the cargo on-board the vessel in order to prevent movement of cargo due to vessel motion during the ocean voyage. The nature of the cargo required the crew to move around on the chains in order to attach the lashings. This presented a high likelihood of personal injury. The Transport Manual identified this and included a Risk Assessment to control this specific operation. We reiterated the hazards and control measures to those involved in the lashing operation during our daily toolbox meetings.
Loading and securing took approximately one week per vessel.
We loaded the second vessel approximately three weeks after the first vessel had sailed from Bilbao. This shipment included a number of 20’ open top containers that NMT had purchased for SBM Offshore. These units contained ancillary components that we had loaded into the containers and secured prior to the arrival of the second vessel.
In Batam, both vessels arrived within the agreed timeframe.
We are proud to say that although the operation presented a high potential risk of injury, this was controlled and resulted in no incidents or injuries throughout the operation, which we performed to the highest QHSSE standards that our customers expect of us.