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Load-in of Sewol ferry, East China Sea



ALE has completed the load-in of the Sewol ferry, as part of a complex salvage operation in the East China Sea. During this operation, ALE utilised a record-breaking 600 axle lines of SPMT.  At 17,000t, this is the heaviest piece ever to be transported by SPMTs.


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ALE was contracted to perform the load-in operations of the high-profile ferry, which tragically capsized two years ago.

Although the ferry was estimated to weigh 13,000t, the client faced the challenge of moving a ferry for which there was no way of confirming the actual weight and CoG position until it was lifted from the sea and positioned onto the barge.

After lifting the ferry and positioning it onto the semi-submersible vessel, the client informed ALE of a 4,000t discrepancy between the weight given by the lifting system and that by the barge carrier. The ferry was later calculated to weigh 17,000t and, as a result, ALE had to the increase a number of axles from 456 to 600 axle lines at short notice. Within 24 hours, ALE had mobilised the additional 144 axle lines.

The ferry, weighing approximately 17,000t, was received from the barge onto 600 axle lines of SPMT, in a configuration of 6 x 2 file 80 plus 2 x 2 file 60. This was the largest configuration of SPMT axle lines ever used. To ensure ALE could lift it up, they provided a large Centre of Gravity (CoG) envelope of a 3m radius – 2.5m bigger than the usual 0.5m radius.

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  • Load-in of Sewol ferry, East China Sea

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