Load-out of 47,830t Arkutun Dagi topside, South Korea
ALE has loaded-out the Arkutun Dagi topside, weighing 47,830t. This weight, which was the combination of the 42,695t topside positioned on a 5,135t load-out support frame, is the heaviest to be loaded-out in the world.
ALE’s full scope of work included the strand jack pulling, high capacity modular ballast system and precision 3D barge monitoring. In addition to this, ALE also supplied the full engineering scope and supervision of the overall load-out.
For the load-out, 12 strand jacks, with 900t pull capacity each, were used to transfer the topside in two stages. Firstly, the topside was transferred from its fabricated location 17m and then a further 223m to the stowage location on the barge. For the pulling operation, 175km of 18mm dyform stands were required. The load was transferred at an average speed of 10 Cu M/Hr and it took 26 hours to transfer the load with ALE minimising the friction coefficients by installing a specialist lubricant on the skidtracks.
ALE were requested to control the barge elevations to within +25mm/-10mm in relation to the quay. Because ALE were working to such tight tolerances, ballasting technology was fundamental to the success of the project. The high capacity modular ballast system is adapted for each barge – the bespoke system for this project included 2,400 Cu M/Hr ballast pumps. This enabled the ballast pump and power pack operation to be completed from one central control by using a computerised PLC control. The computer system provided real-time tank sounding, flow rates, tidal monitoring and HPU control. This innovative system also allows the flow distribution for the barge to be controlled with a click of a mouse.
This load-out was the final stage of the Arkutun Dagi Project, a project that saw ALE perform the heaviest jack-up in the world when the topside, then weighing 42,780t, was jacked to a height of 24m using the Mega Jack.
The topside is now located in the Arkutun Dagi field off the east coast of Russia, which is expected to be the largest oil and gas production platform in Russia.