Sometimes the most obvious solution isn’t the most cost-effective, nor is it the most efficient way to transport critical assets. We were contacted by our client, DHL Industrial Projects, to transport and install a marine loading arm at an aviation terminal, within a critical deadline. This terminal receives fuel from tanker vessels. The marine loading arm connects to those tankers’ manifolds and receives the aviation fuel securely from the vessel to storage tanks onshore. The component weighs 35te, is 21m long and its fabricated integrity needs protecting throughout the factory-to-foundation move.

Previously, these loading arms might have been transported and installed with a crane barge or sheer leg. The solution – designed in conjunction with our client – involved using a 2x 150te geared capacity vessel to load the marine loading arm, transporting it from Sheerness across the Medway – a 45-minute sailing – and berthing at the jetty. Then, having calculated the tide influences, we lifted, upended, and installed the marine loading arm onto its foundations.

An overview of the myriad aspects of this project:

  • We supported our client and played a key role during their facilitated site meetings with port authorities and subcontractors (such as agents and vessel owners), ensuring a smooth flow of information throughout the project.
  • Engineering and documentation were completed with only two minor revisions to petrochemical QSHE standards.
  • We worked with the vessel and produced a tide-critical lift plan, mooring arrangement, and installation methodology.
  • Our project plans were managed on time, which also meant the project stayed within budget and let our end client hit their installation targets.

We catch up with clients after the project’s finished, too – it’s part of our continuous commitment to learning as much as we can from each job we do. On this occasion, DHL Industrial Projects and the end-user were very impressed with how we managed loading, transport, and installation from start to finish. So much so that we were awarded the second installation.