October 10 - ALE has completed its offshore and marine operations for an offshore platform project in Azerbaijan.

The specialist transport engineering company was contracted for the load-out of two jackets, weighing and jack-up of the topsides, strand jack skidding load-outs, ballasting and mooring as well as the offshore floatovers for two topsides.

The first stage of operations began in July 2016 with the ballasting load-outs of the production and riser (PR) and the living quarters and utilities (QU) platform jackets, weighing 13,977 tonnes and 12,369 tonnes respectively.

ALE was contracted by the jacket manufacturer BOS Shelf to provide the full external ballast system and engineering, as well as the ballast system design and calculations. The jackets were loaded-out onto Caspian Marine Services' STB-1 launch barge, measuring 153 m x 45 m x 12 m, using the client's push/pull skidding system.

The next phase involved the weighing and jack-up of the QU topside for a separate client using the Mega Jack system. Load cells were used to weigh the deck at 12,789 tonnes and the Mega Jack was deployed to jack-up the topside 14.5 m.

The load-out frame was transferred under the topside, before performing the skidding load-out of the QU deck, now at 14,200 tonnes, using 900-tonne capacity strand jacks and ballasting the barge.

In the final phases of the project, ALE completed the floatover of the QU topside using its own ballast system and mooring winches.

Matthew Hodgson, engineering manager for ALE - offshore services, explained: "Our offshore services team, which was also contracted for the engineering and ballasting for the load-out and floatover operations, has designed and fabricated bespoke ballast piping to fit around pre-existing pipework on the barge, which will serve for all ballasting requirements for the entire project thus saving our clients time and money."

The final phase involved the load-in of the load-out frame, followed by the weighing, jack-up, load-out and floatover operations of the PR topside.