November 9 - Four ports, three countries and four reels with diameters up to 12.5 m and weighing up to 377 tonnes represented a challenge for Beluga Shipping.

The reels and additional offshore equipment were shipped on Beluga Recognition for the Gjøa Project, with loading and discharge in Moss (Norway), Karlskrona (Sweden), Kalundborg (Denmark) and Florø (Norway). "Our vessels are designed for optimal accessibility even in small ports", explains Roberto Frigeni, head of the Beluga Transport Engineering and one of the cargo superintendents involved in this shipment.

Anika Kerkow, Beluga's project engineer on this assignment says: "Usually we (have) several months to arrange for such projects, this time we received the first notice very shortly before we were supposed to start loading. Inspite of such unfavourable conditions we were able to maintain our superior safety standards for a demanding customer like StatoilHydro."

To undertake this project the capabilities of both vessel and its cranes were modified and the respective certifications renewed to comply with the HSE offshore standards. Weld seams of stopping plates and lashings were checked by means of certified non-destructive tests in every port of loading. A representative of the Beluga Transport Engineering Department accompanied the complete voyage ensuring the sea-fastenings were checked and adjusted twice a day during the ocean transport.

One of the challenges was the arrangement of an efficient flow of information between the partners involved - among them the customer, agents and manufacturers which are all based in different locations in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

"It was a multifaceted project which demanded a lot of technical and engineering skills but also excellent organisation and communication with the partners. By successfully completing it we could position ourselves once again as a reliable partner for the oil & gas industry", adds Beluga project manager, Nicola Pacifico.

Dagfinn R. Fingann, logistics coordinator at StatoilHydro, confirms that the Gjøa Project team at StatoilHydro is very satisfied with Beluga's performance of the assignment. "We did experience some challenges during this project but these were professionally dealt with by Beluga's engineers, officers and crew in a safe, secure and comforting manner."