Recently Wagenborg Towage performed a challenging transport of 4 piles over inland waters from Emden (Germany) to Schiedam (The Netherlands). The piles - measuring 98 meters in length, 1,5 meters in width and weighing 180 tons each - are meant for the Leman Uptime Compression project of Shell.

The Leman offshore complex is located in the UK sector of the North Sea. The complex is still in production, however the turbines on the one of the platforms are nearing their expiration. That is why Shell decided to install a new platform with new turbines and auxiliary equipment. The new platform will contain a topside, jacket, bridge and 4 piles and will be bridge-linked to the existing Leman complex.

Wagenborg was asked to transport the piles for this new build platform from the manufacturer in Emden to Schiedam. The transport had to follow inland waters, since this route was much more quick and less risky than a route by sea. Because of the huge dimensions of the piles quite a challenge! Wagenborg prepared tug boat ‘Waterlelie’ and the pontoons ‘Wagenborg Barge 6’ and ‘DH4’ for this special job.

After approval of the engineering both pontoons were outfitted with 24 transport saddles, which were chained to deck. After the safety and toolbox meetings the load-out of the piles could start. The piles were driven by SPMT under the hook of a 600 tons crawler crane, type CC-2800 configured with super lift counterweight. This heavy crane lifted the piles ones by one on the pontoons. During this loading operation all vessel traffic was kept at a distant because of the dimensions of the piles. After lashing the load, the tug and pontoons set direction to her destination. The transport arrived according planning in Schiedam where the pontoons were discharged by two 400t sheerlegs.

So far the first involvement of Wagenborg in the Leman Uptime Compression Project. Soon Wagenborg Towage will come in action again with her largest pontoon. The ‘Wagenborg Barge 9’ will be used to transport the new Leman topside offshore from Schiedam. To be continued…

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