A unique transportation of 2 STS cranes via the Northern Sea Route was arranged at the end of 2016 by Russian ZAO «SMM» in cooperation with Hansa Heavy Lift (HHL), a Hamburg company specializing in heavy lift and project cargo, as annouced by SMM press release.
In April 2016, SMM, a leading Russian company providing a full range of services for heavy lifting equipment (manufacturing, repairs, transportation), won the tender to relocate two ship-to-shore fully erected cranes from Petrolesport terminal in St.Petersburg to Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company (VSC) in the port of Vostochny, thus spanning the European and Far Eastern parts of Russia. Both container terminals are operated by Global Ports.
The complex project required a careful and detailed planning which was completed by SMM in a short period of time. The works included preparation of the equipment for shipping, design and manufacturing of reinforcement elements to be attached to the cranes, load spreading design during loading/discharging operations, simulation of stowage and securing the cranes on board the vessel. In late October the equipment was loaded by two vessel cranes, each of 700 tons lifting capacity, and within 31 days was delivered to the port of destination.
The transportation was effected by HHL Valparaiso chartered by SMM. One of the cranes was mounted on rails which were welded on deck and the other was loaded in hold to provide stability for the ship. The two cranes, each weighing 820 metric tonnes and measuring 61m high and 92m wide, were rising significantly above deck, thus limiting the visibility and increasing the windage. HHL Valparaiso, holding Ice Class E3 equivalent to Russian Arc.4 and Finnish-Swedish Ice Class 1A, became the first vessel to sail open hatch through the Northern Sea Route, which the vessel passed in convoy headed by the Russian nuclear-powered ice-breaker «50 Let Pobedy».
In Vostochny port the experts of SMM company arranged the discharging, dismantled the reinforcement elements, tested the equipment and handed it over to VSC on 21 December 2016.
“The Northern Sea Route is an important alternative that can save weeks from a voyage, but to be successful you need careful planning and engineering, the right equipment, capable vessels, and experienced crews,” said Heinrich Nagrelli, Project & Transport Engineer, HHL.
“The high professionalism of ZAO «SMM» and good cooperation with Hansa Heavy Lift ensured the successful and timely implementation of this project,” said Mikhail Skripchenko, Project Manager at SMM.