March 9 - Hansa Heavy Lift has shipped a BioPower Systems (BPS) pilot unit and retrieval rig, weighing a total of 698 tonnes, for a new wave power plant from Vũng Tàu, Vietnam to Australia on board HHL Fremantle.

On arrival at the Port of Portland, the rig was unloaded from the heavy lift ship directly into the water. HHL Fremantle then continued to the site of the wave power plant off Port Fairy to carry out installation work for the facility.

The ship's two cranes, which have a combined lifting capacity of 1,400 tonnes, were used to lift the BPS pilot unit onto the seabed, where it will be used to convert wave energy into electricity.

Divers monitored the installation process to ensure the unit was placed down safely and accurately. The bioWAVE device is a 26 m tall oscillating structure designed to sway back and forth beneath the ocean swell through an arc of up to 40 degrees.

"The positioning of the ship was crucial to ensure accurate heading alignment. The unit had to be lowered through the splash zone at an angle of 15 degrees in order to reduce dynamic effects from the waves before lowering it to the seabed," explained Ian Broad, director, cargo management at Hansa.

"To protect the Australian environment, a rigorous process of pollution control was carried out, to ensure all equipment, including shackles, grommets, crane hooks/blocks, and heave-compensators, were treated with environmentally-safe lubrication."

Hansa explained that its engineers used remote-controlled hydraulic shackles for underwater unhooking, as well as heave-compensators to reduce dynamic forces on the cranes. Due to the rigging arrangements with the heave-compensators the lifting height was limited, and six winches were needed to control the unit's swaying, explained the tramp shipping line.

"As we strengthen our focus in the offshore industry, with a particular focus on transportation and installation in the subsea oil and gas market, as well as the offshore wind farm sector, we expect to undertake more of these highly technical installations," said Joerg Roehl, chief commercial officer at Hansa.