November 7 - ALE - Offshore Services has completed the load-out, float-over, offshore lifting and leveling operations for the installation of the 13,000-tonne Lu Feng topside in the South China Sea.

To install the COOEC-owned Lu Feng platform, ALE used a bespoke float-over method to overcome the constraints posed by the width of the pre-installed jacket.

ALE worked to strict tolerances and a tight timeframe in order to lift the 13,000-tonne structure to a height of 10 m, whilst keeping it on a level plain. 

The load-out of the topside onto a barge was performed at Shekou. The topside was pulled 140 m from the build location on to the barge using four 850-tonne strand jacks installed in the cellar deck skid beams of the topside.

To ensure a safe operation, the load-out was monitored using ALE ballast and barge level monitoring systems, allowing the load-out superintendent to see real-time information against local tide predictions.

Daniel Kempin, business development manager for ALE - Offshore Services, said: "The Lu Feng project brought together all of ALE - Offshore Services expertise: the in-house engineering, operational optimisation and multi- skilled staff working smarter and safer to offer an innovative solution.

"Even with our reliable techniques and equipment, the main highlight for this project was the amalgamation of all of the latest developments in ALE - Offshore Services' monitoring systems. Each individual or combined operational phase was witnessed in real-time from a central control station, thus benefiting all stakeholders in the direct total management of the project operating with fluency to avoid any unnecessary stoppages, saving valuable time and money."

The whole operation was safely completed within three months and prior to the typhoon season.