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Swift team collaboration completes record-breaking transportation of slug catchers from Spain to Saudi Arabia


Oil and Gas


Extensive equipment fleet

Long track record of transporting heavy loads

Swift and effective co-ordination with third parties

International branch network


Using its experience of transporting heavy loads over long distances, ALE has been able to transport the heaviest items ever moved through Gijon and the heaviest to be moved in convoy through Saudi Arabia.

ALE has completed the challenging transportation of two slug catchers, weighing 2,008t each, from Spain to Saudi Arabia, to the Fadhili Gas Program Project site.

First, ALE transported the slug catchers from the fabrication yard through the narrow streets of Gijon city centre to Gijon Port using 32 axle lines of SPMT. ALE’s diverse experience and ability to draw on a range of equipment enabled them to negotiate this first challenging part of the route safely while in heavily congested areas.

There was limited time for ALE to prepare and this was compounded for the Saudi Arabia stage of the operation because it took place over the country’s public holiday periods. All the preparations had to begin earlier than usual and ALE worked hard to maintain communications with all the authorities, whilst also keeping the client updated.

Once at Gijon Port, the slug catchers were loaded-out onto a self-propelled barge and upon arrival at Jubail Industrial Port, they were loaded-in.

ALE then transported both slug catchers in convoy using 174 axle lines of SPMT in a configuration of 6 file 30 and 6 file 28.
The movement times were restricted and ALE ensured the convoy was kept moving as much as possible while observing the safe speed restrictions.

One of the greatest challenges during the transportation was on a narrow road that had been affected by sand encroachment. ALE worked quickly with the various authorities to get the road cleared, avoiding any major delays. The slug catchers were transported a total of 90km to their final destination at the Fadhili Gas Program Project.

Andrew Taylor, Project Manager, said, “Performing the heaviest and largest ever convoy transportation in Saudi Arabia was always going to be a major challenge, especially over such a large distance. In addition, we only had five weeks before the slug catchers arrived at Jubail Industrial Port and the public holidays meant working times were restricted both for ALE and the authorities.”

“Obtaining all the necessary permissions was a complex process and we worked extremely hard to ensure they arrived on time. The vessel’s arrival time was actually brought forward but as we had begun the preparations so soon, we avoided any delays because everything was already in place.”

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