Middle East oil & gas project cargo case studies

The Middle East is alive with project cargo potential as these case studies point out.

It’s no secret that hydrocarbons are the region’s chief economic sector. Crucially, with the scale and scope that extraction and processing work required to get to these vital resources, project cargo is a major cog in the Middle East’s oil & gas machine.

$895bn in oil & gas projects are in the pipeline in the Middle East.

With that in mind, a mixture of international and local players are intimately involved in moving significant heavy and out of gauge cargoes in and out of the region. What follows are some examples of the types of freight moved in the hydrocarbons sector by project cargo players.

Middle Eastern oil & gas project cargo case studies

EGL moves Cairo West Power Plant thermal unit

Egyptian Global Logistics (EGL) completed a multi-stage delivery of components, containers and accessories for the Cairo West Power Station project.

Natural gas, rather than heavy fuels, powers the plant, making it an important part of Egypt’s natural gas power strategy.

The key cargo to outfit this 650 MW steam power plant were four transformers, each weighing 228 tons each. These were delivered between September-October 2019.

The project site was about 258km from Alexandria, located on the west bank of the Nile. Rather than using the world’s longest river for transport, EGL opted for a road-based solution, using multi-axle truck beds to carry the heaviest components.

However, using Egypt’s road network did necessitate careful route analysis. EGL’s study revealed the most economical route would still require a multitude of sub-projects, including:

• Bridge studies
• Civil work
• Night time city cross
• Removing sidewalks, trees and traffic signs 
• Soil compacting to take the weight
• Site preparation

Additionally, due to the nature of the power plant’s location, EGL had to switch vehicles. The 16 axle, 3 flies trucks used to carry the transformers were too large for the project site. Instead, transformers were moved to 12 axle 2 flies units for better manoeuvrability.

Thanks to their diligent work, and careful route planning, EGL delivered the transformers smoothly in 28 days, helping Cairo West Power Plant reach completion.

Hsiang Logistics ships pipes for Iraq oil pipeline

As Iraq’s post-war economy continues to develop, oil & gas projects are gaining significant traction here.

Petronas is currently overseeing an 108km oil pipeline, of which Korea’s Hsiang Logistics is part of the EPC team.

The total volume of the pipes was 35,000 cubic metres. 

Hsiang’s experience shows the power of collaboration when moving bulk loads across the world. In this instance, the shipper organised a 6-party meeting between all stakeholders, to agree in detail all aspects of delivery prior to any physical work, covering:

• Cargo delivery summary
• Documentation signing
• Port storage planning
• Port shifting
• Cargo inspection
• Lifting and lashing requirements
• Vessel schedule

With these agreed on beforehand, delivery began in a blazing August 2018. Cargoes were loaded over six days before being loaded onto the transport vessel for delivery.

ALE handles load-in & transport of world’s heaviest evaporator

In May 2018, ALE once again made its way into the record books by handling load-in and transport operations for a 5,214-ton evaporator destined for the Shoaiba Desalination Plant development near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Shoaiba Desalination Plant is one of the largest fossil fuel power plants anywhere in the world and is in the midst of an upgrade and overhaul programme. The new evaporator is part of this ongoing development.

ALE received the cargo at the plant’s own jetty. All told, ALE was tasked to load-in and move:

• Evaporator – 5,134t
• Steam transformer – 273t
• Lime filters – 34t
• Brine manifold – 16t

186 axle lines of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) were deployed to handle the ultra-heavy evaporator, using a 3x2 file 62 configuration.

Everything else were load-in in using differing axle configurations, such as six axle lines, 24 axles lines, 12 axles, and 18 SMPT axle lines.

All axles were prepared close to the berth in order to optimise loading. Cargo was then transported a kilometre to the project site proper. The nature of the plant project site meant that ALE had to carefully navigate a cluttered space, necessitating removal of obstacles, modification of the cargo structure, and passing over fences.

By remaining flexible in the approach, using local expertise, ensuring effective communication with ALE’s Middle East branches and mobilising an experienced transport crew, ALE could overcome the logistics of receiving almost 200 axle lines of SPMT and the vessel was able to sail away within the time constraints.

Oil & gas generates the contracts - Breakbulk Middle East is where you’ll find them

Breakbulk Middle East is where the project cargo opportunities are, as well as the region’s largest gathering of sector professionals. Don’t forget to register your interest in this event, and join the conversation for yourself in Dubai, 2020.

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