Heavy lifting and engineered transport provider Sarens has loaded in, transported and installed three 360-tonne gas bullet tanks for a gas storage project in Hitia’a, Tahiti.

Sarens loads in and installs bullet tanks in Tahiti

Source: Sarens

The bullet tanks will be used to store butane, propane and liquified petroleum gas. Between mid-October 2023 and mid-January 2024, Sarens transported the tanks using 48 axle lines of SPMTs with two power-pack units, two 500-tonne capacity turning tables, four CS250 climbing systems, 9 m linkspans, and two 30-tonne capacity mooring winches.

The equipment was selected for its compactness, manoeuvrability, and high capacity, said Sarens. The gear was mobilised to Poland, where the gas bullets were manufactured, and shipped along with them on a heavy lift vessel to Tahiti. The ocean voyage took 45 days, but it then took only two days to set up the SPMTs and three days for the CS250 climbing systems.

Sarens then received the 45 m-long gas bullets on the local landing craft Tahiti Nui VIII at a temporary quay in Hitia’a. To ensure the success of this operation, meticulous engineering took place for landing craft analysis on ballasting performance, deck strength, and linkspan connection with the quayside. The most critical factors were the landing craft dimensions and loading ramp opening, which provided less than a 5 cm margin of manoeuvrability on each side.

Load-in and transport to the laydown area were all performed on the same day for each bullet. From the quayside, the Kamag K24 SPMTs made a tight 90-degree turn to get onto the public road. Additional flagmen were supplied by the client and public roads were closed by the police force.

The cargoes were then transported along local roads to reach the installation area. Private road access to the actual site was an additional challenge, however, because of the longitudinal and transversal road slope. Once finally at the site, each bullet was put onto stools at a temporary storage area.

To install the bullets, Sarens positioned them onto the CS250 jacking system, jacking them down onto their final position in the sandbed.