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Coke ovens put the heat on BigLift Shipping

July 16 - Last week, BigLift Shipping finished the last of two challenging shipments on its vessels Happy Diamond and Happy Dover for the US Steel Corporation in Clairton, USA, from Lubeck, Germany to Mobile, USA, writes Adam Flensborg Safikhan

A big challenge was presented by the limited space in the hold with only centimetres to spare on each side of the modules and the need for a crane outreach of 21 m for the lifting of machines, which each weighed about 350 tonnes.

The loading consisted of several coke ovens made by ThyssenKrupp and contracted by Pan Projects, Bremen. Pan Projects also arranged the oncarriage to Clairton.

Due to the sensitive parts on the machines, all cargo had to be loaded under deck of the vessel. The largest modules - two coal pusher machines (27.6 m x 17.6 m x 8.79 m) - fitted inside the hold with only centimetres spare on each side.

Due to limited water depth at the LMG yard in Lubeck, Germany, it was not possible to directly moor the large Happy D ships alongside the quay. The vessels therefore temporarily discharged nearly all the cargo on their tweendecks at another location, prior to berthing at LMG, reducing the draft so that a safe clearance between river bed and keel was guaranteed. 

Spacer barges were arranged between the vessels and the quay to ensure the water depth was enough. The total width of these spacer barges was 14 m, resulting in a necessary outreach to lift the cargo from the quay of a staggering 21 m, while the water depth was 6.7 m only.

Since the lifting lugs were located well inside the modules, where access with the usual grommets and shackles was impossible, the BigLift operational and CAD departments, together with ThijssenKrupp Uhde, had to find some innovative solutions to lift the cargo.

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