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Combi Lift kicks off major project in Russia with tug delivery

With the loading of eight custom-made Damen tugs, German heavy lift expert Combi Lift reached an important milestone in the Gazprom Amur Gas Processing Plant Project in Russia. This officially marks the transition period between the project’s intense planning and long-awaited implementation stages.

Combi Lift, contracted by the Linde Group as the exclusive logistics partner for oversized and heavy cargo, chose to cooperate with SAL Heavy Lift in this project. On behalf of Combi Lift, SAL’s Type 161B vessel MV Annette loaded eight newly built tugs in the Waalhaven in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The tugs will be shipped to De-Kastri, Russia to play an important role in the Gazprom Amur GPP Project. The four Amur River tugs and four Zeya River shallow draft tugs were custom-built by the Damen Shipyards Group for this project, and are designed to cope with extremely low water levels, especially in the Zeya River.

“We appreciate Damen’s professionalism, good teamwork and smooth handling of all production processes. A punctual and reliable delivery of the tugs was essential for the progress and success of this important project. We are very satisfied with the great teamwork and the quality of all tugs,” explains Heiko Felderhoff, CEO at Combi Lift.

All loaded and transported tugs included initial outfitting and spare parts packages. Handling this cargo and loading it directly out of the water was no problem: A customised rigging arrangement ensured safe loading procedures. The Amur River tugs, measuring 24.88 m x 11.97 m x 10.3 m and weighing 272 t each, and the Zeya River shallow draft tugs, measuring 25.9 m x 8.5 m x 8.3 m and weighing 150 t each, were stowed on deck with an overhang of up to 2,600 mm to each side.

All engineering planning, including stowage planning, rigging arrangement, lifting plans, cribbing plans and sea fastening calculations, was performed in-house in close cooperation with SAL Heavy Lift, another member of the Harren & Partner Group. Very tight stowage planning was necessary to realise the transportation of all eight tugs in one shipment. All of the tugs will sail under the Russian flag, and are certified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS) and the Russian River Register (RRR).

MV Annette will now continue her journey from Rotterdam to De-Kastri via the Suez Channel and Singapore to bring the tugs to their final destination. At the same time, customised barges and side floaters will be shipped from Damen Yichang via Shanghai to De-Kastri. Once all of the assets have arrived in their final port in early May, the next stage of this exciting project can begin.

About the project: Spanning 2,824 kilometres, the Amur River is the world’s tenth longest river, forming the border between the far eastern part of Russia and north-eastern China. All project cargo needs to be discharged in Svobodny, located on the right bank of the Zeya River, a northern tributary of the Amur River. Heavy lift transportation is quite challenging in a place like this: The water is only 1.10 metres deep in some areas, and weather conditions are often severe.

Combi Lift developed a sophisticated concept to master this difficult feat: Heavy lift vessels will transport the cargo from ports in Europe and Korea, which then will be transferred to barges on the sheltered inner anchorage of the port of De-Kastri. Special shallow draft pusher tugs will tow the barges up the Amur and Zeya Rivers to Svobodny for discharging at jetty and transfer the cargo to the last mile logistics service provider.

Gazprom, The Linde Group, Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk and NIPIGAS will use the delivered components for the Gazprom Amur GPP Project – one of the largest natural gas processing plants in the world, with a capacity of up to 42 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The plant is part of Gazprom’s project to supply Russian gas from eastern Siberian gas fields to China using the “Power of Siberia” pipeline. This will be built in five phases and completed by 2024.

The cargo will be shipped in five phases from 2018 to 2022, taking advantage of the ice-free periods on the Amur and Zeya Rivers.

About Combi Lift: Over the last 18 years, Combi Lift’s experienced mariners and engineers have become experts in the worldwide marine transport of heavy lift and project cargoes. From the outset, Combi Lift has focussed on developing smart and efficient engineering solutions for complex logistics tasks. The Harren & Partner Group affiliate provides clients with customised solutions that suit individual demands and expectations, developed in close cooperation with expert teams.
For more information about Combi Lift, go to www.combi-lift.net
For more information about SAL Heavy Lift, go to www.sal-heavylift.com
For more information about Harren & Partner, go to www.harren-partner.de

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