By : Terry Hutson
Transferring oil & gas related cargoes from a ship to a land-based terminal is already a major operation in its own right, but when it comes to a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer it’s a far more complicated operation. Universal Africa Lines (UAL), a niche breakbulk carrier servicing the oil & gas industry, undertook just such an operation on Sunday, 27 October in Namibian waters some six miles off Walvis Bay when 53 riser pipers weighing approximately 22 tons each and measuring 24 metres long and 1,3 metres wide and high, were transferred from one vessel to another.
The cargo was moved from the drill ship ENSCO DS-7 to the newly built UAL HOUSTON and is being transported to Lobito, Angola for refurbishment. The decision for the offshore ship to shore transfer (STS) is due to the draft in the port being too shallow to accommodate the drill ship. A STS transfer is by no means an easy feat and therefore operations were carried out in accordance with the strictest adherence to safety regulations. The UAL HOUSTON is one of the new innovative vessels in the UAL fleet and was built in the Netherlands. This vessel is considered unique because of the application of the Groot Cross Bow – an innovative bow shape with wave piercing abilities. This ensures the ship will have less slamming and maintain speed easier when compared to the more conventional bow shapes with bow flare, ultimately resulting in massive energy savings as less fuel would be burned and there would be a reduction in the CO2 output.
DAILY COLLECTION OF MARITIME PRESS CLIPPINGS 2013 – 305 01-11-2013