Wagenborg goes wherever the customer wants us to be. This proved true once more during the past year, when a complete onshore drilling rig, named T46, had to be moved from Schneeren, Germany to Shpiragu, Albania.

“It all started in February 2012 as Wagenborg was awarded by client KCA Deutag for this project to move drilling rig T46 to Shpiragu, Albania” project manager Harry Lansink says. “Honestly, I first had to check the map to get an idea of the exact location. But soon enough, we were in close talks with our customer to discuss the full package of assembly, disassembly and logistic services for this project. We have done this many times before at all kind of locations in Europe, however Albania was a new working area for both our and the customer’s crew. Normally, Wagenborg Foxdrill, specialized in assembling and disassembling drilling rigs and Wagenborg Nedlift, specialized in heavy transport and lifting, take care of such projects together, working as one project team for the customer. For the Shpiragu project, more expertise was required in the field of seagoing transport, agencies and customs clearance. 

“As Wagenborg is a full package logistic service provider, this expertise was available within the company. The project team was expanded with colleagues from Wagenborg Projects & Logistics” Harry explains.

More and more

At the end of March, the Wagenborg crew started with the disassembly works in Schneeren, Germany. Transport of the rig parts took place to the port of Papenburg in Northern Germany, where an intermediate storage was arranged on behalf of customs formalities. Upon customs approval, transshipment into Wagenborg’s m.v. ‘Metsäborg’ could commence by mid-April. A detailed stowing plan for loading the vessel had been drawn up. However during the project’s progress, more and more cargo destined for Albania was added to the cargo list and it seemed that the ship would not have enough capacity for all cargo. This surely would result in a delay and the time frame was tight. Wagenborg Shipping’s project managers accepted the challenge and managed to load the ship up to the last cm3. On April 19th, m.v. ‘Metsäborg’ left Papenburg port for Dürres, Albania.


After a smooth two-week sailing trip, m.v. ‘Metsäborg’ arrived at the port of Dürres. On the job site in Shpiragu, about 100 km from Dürres port, preparations on the civil works were still ongoing. A special road across the hills had to be constructed to transport the rig parts from the main road to the site. Harry continues: “For the inland transport in Albania, a local transport company was hired. Not much choice, as only one transport company had a more or less suitable equipment fleet for the special cargo. Not the state-of the- art equipment we use to have in the Northern European oil and gas industry, however rather useful for the T46 movement. For some extraordinary pieces of the rig, like the 4 generators, only one trailer was suitable for the transport job. This meant 6 trips consecutively, which was equivalent to 6 days of transport for this cargo only. This meant a rather big delay in the logistics-planning schedule, which could endanger our rig assembly deadline. Fortunately, all other transports went according to schedule and assembly works by our colleagues already started on the job site. Working all over the world in the most remote areas, Wagenborg’s crew has to manage with local content and be inventive at all times to be able to meet customers’ requirements. Their expertise and experience made the difference at the Shpiragu project too.”

Assembly works

To assemble the T46 in Shpiragu, Wagenborg hired heavy hydraulic cranes. These had to be mobilized from Greece as sufficient cranes were not available locally. Unfortunately these cranes were stopped at the Albanian border due to unclear customs reasons. To avoid high waiting costs, a small crane was hired locally to lift the first small equipment arriving on site. After a few days and daily negotiations with customs, the cranes were allowed to enter Albania. As the cranes arrived on site and the heavy equipment came in shortly after that, the assembly of T46 ran smoothly. Early July the T46 was handed over by Wagenborg to KCA Deutag in line with the initial planning. “A real piece of work”, Harry concludes.”

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