Tanks on the move
Two large LNG tanks were shipped in one vessel, i.e. Happy River, for Fincantiery Bay. The LNG tanks originated from Spain and had to be installed in a newbuild, US flagged, 12 K CBM LNG tanker barge which was under construction in Sturgeon Bay.
With the navigational constraints for the Great Lakes, the two tanks could not ‘simply’ be placed on deck at an angle. So, inventive engineering was required to come up with a solution. One LNG tank was therefore loaded in the hold and, it being too high, the other would be placed on deck on top of some raised hatchcover panels. In all this, Happy River’s being Lake-fitted, her capabilities to sail ‘open top’ and her second bridge positioned forward, were instrumental in the choice of vessel. With only centimeters to spare, the first tank was loaded in the hold, whereafter a project-specific construction, that had been engineered in-house to support and raise the hatch cover, was placed over this tank. Then the second tank was loaded on deck, thereby staying within the extreme boundaries of the vessel. And so, vessel and cargo remained within the limitations set by the St Lawrence authorities, in order to be able to safely navigate the 26 bridges and 16 locks to reach Sturgeon Bay. The whole loading operation, including the installation works of welding custom-made stools on top of the existing coaming, took a little over 6 days to complete. Upon arrival, the two 563 mt LNG tanks - measuring 45.8 * 17.4 * 16.3 metres - were each installed in the newbuild LNG tanker within 5 mm accuracy.