July 18 - Netherlands headquartered heavy lift and transport specialist Mammoet has completed the lifting and load-out of the 12,000 tonne Bien Dong topside in Vung Tang, Southern Vietnam.
The Bien Dong platform will soon be deployed 400 km offshore Vietnam in the South China Sea for oil processing, but first the topside needed to be transported from its mainland manufacturing location and positioned on a barge for deliery to the offshore site.
After lengthy preparations the Mammoet team began by assembling a hydraulic jacking system and skidding it beneath the topside.
Using the jacking system Mammoet weighed the topside before lifting it 13 m to create the necessary clearance for a deck support frame to be inserted beneath. When in position, the topside was lowered down onto the frame.
Mammoet then completed the final part of the project - the load out. A barge was positioned and moored securely in place at the nearby quayside.
The topside and support frame, weighing a combined 14,000 tonnes, was then pulled 175 m to the quayside using strand jacks and prepared for loading onto the barge. Breakout jacks were used to assist the initial movement of the structure.
The huge topside was the then skidded-out onto the barge and a computerised ballasting system was utilised to keep the barge at a constant level - all while compensating for tidal differences during the operation. This was made more difficult due to an uneven weight distribution of the topside, which forced Mammoet to counterweight the barge asymmetrically, requiring additional counterweight to be positioned on the platform. However, the operation was safely completed in approximately 14 hours.
A video of the jacking and load out operation can be seen on the right-hand side of the page