Global project heavy lift cargo specialist AAL Shipping has successfully delivered a cargo of 38,950 FRT of gas cooling units and components for two new Linde hydrogen plants in the US - the Sweeny Plant in Texas and Convent Plant in Louisiana, the former expected to become the largest hydrogen production unit in America when completed in 2021. The cargo was shipped from Sattahip in Thailand to Freeport and New Orleans on a single sailing aboard the 31,000 DWT ‘Mega-Size’ heavy-lift MPV the A-Class AAL Dalian. Harnessing every centimetre of her 9,000 sqm cargo intake capacity, the 36 modules were accompanied by 43 FEUs and two giant lifting frames. The cargo was carried for global transport and logistics provider, Kuehne + Nagel.
Yahaya Sanusi PhD, Deputy Head of AAL’s Transport Engineering Department, explained the circumstances that made this operation a challenge to execute and so satisfying to deliver successfully, “Planning started in June and the main issue was how to stow such a huge cargo comprising two identical sets of cooling units, each set consisting 18 modules of up to 20m in length and 223t in weight. Over the coming weeks we would model and design a single sailing solution that would meet all our customer’s handling, stowage and safety demands.
“Apart from physically fitting these 36 units safely onto the vessel, each had its own place in a strict loading sequence on and below the weather deck so that no cargo would need to be shifted when discharging the first 18 units in Freeport. Our DNVGL-approved solution involved raising the tweendecks to accommodate multiple units in underdeck holds with enough space between to lift-out each safely. Considering their size and weight and the fact that when lifted they can never be perfectly horizontal and still, each unit required careful manual coaxing into position.”
Marc Willim, General Manager of AAL’s Chartering Team, added, “Our frequent US semi-liner service has proven popular. With more than 15 sailings completed Eastbound this year and at least five more scheduled before Christmas, we continue to serve the US market’s MPP cargo needs.
“Booked through our dedicated US Trade Lane Manager in Singapore, we thank Kuehne + Nagel and Linde for entrusting AAL with such an important project. Special mention also goes to our Operations Team who executed loading & discharge perfectly despite COVID restrictions, our Engineering Department who made the technical demands of this shipment look easy and our Master and crew who have worked faultlessly on the front line during this pandemic.”