Knocked-down barge loader to Kamsar

Happy Sky started the year 2019 with an interesting and challenging project which involved transporting a knocked-down barge loader from Nhava Sheva, India, to Kamar, Guinea, where it was discharge and assembled.

Besides six 77 mt counter weights and various smaller parts, the barge loader’s main items were its main boom of 61.90 x 10.81 x 6.15 m, weighing 350 mt, and its slew deck of 17.00 x 17.00 x 7.32 m and weighing 154 mt.


The main complicating factor for this transport was the small berth in Kamsar where the barge loader was to be assembled.


Close cooperation between Happy Sky’s crew, the client and BigLift’s project department resulted in the optimum stowage plan that enabled the vessel to discharge and erect the barge loader at the confined berth in Kamsar.

As if the small berth was not enough, tide levels also had to be reckoned with and various phases of the installation would have to be performed at high tide.


With all cargo on board, Happy Sky sailed from Nhava Sheva and after a smooth voyage around the Cape of Good Hope she arrived in Kamsar.


The slew deck was installed first by one of the ship’s cranes. Once the slewdeck had been fixed to the berth, the main boom was lifted by the two ship’s cranes and installed on top of the slew deck. As the counterweights had not been installed yet, the boom needed to be supported at the top end, so the boom tip was landed on a temporary support on the berth.


It took six days for the shore crew to install various parts on the barge loader and they were often assisted by the ship’s cranes. During this process the boom remained partly protruding over the ship’s deck, with the vessel rising up and down with the tide. Of course, the available space was engineered so that the boom stayed clear of the deck at all times.

The counterweights, which had been transported lying flat on deck, where placed upright on the ship’s deck ready for installation.


Once the barge loader was ready to receive the counterweights, the boom tip was lifted from its support by ship’s crane nr 2 and the boom was moved parallel to the berth. Through this manoeuvre, the back end of the main boom moved closer to the ship and the six counter weights could be installed. This was performed during two high water cycles. The counterweights were lifted and installed by a special, short rigging that was designed to enable this operation.


To make a long story short: the disassembled barge loader was delivered safely and in working order.