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Combi Lift returns to Damen for new mega-barge

Combi Lift returns to Damen for new mega-barge

(Posted on 04/05/21)

On the 19th of April, Damen delivered the 111-metre Damen Stan Pontoon 11226 RD mega-barge Tomsk to Combi Lift, a leading expert in the transport of heavy lift and project cargoes world-wide. The barge will be used in the construction of Gazprom’s Amur Gas Processing Plant near Russia’s eastern border, transporting some of the largest components to the site.

This contract follows a nineteen vessel order placed with Damen by Combi Lift that was delivered in May 2018. It was comprised of four Multi Cat 2608SD workboats, four Pusher Tugs 2612SD, four Side Floaters 8605SD and seven 89-metre Stan Pontoons 8916SD. Measuring 111.75m by 26.4m and with a deadweight of 5,700 tonnes, the Tomsk is almost twice the size of its smaller counterparts.

Combi Lift returned to Damen for this latest order based on the high quality of the original vessels and its ability to meet tight deadlines for delivery, and the Tomsk was indeed delivered within time, on budget and to the agreed specification regarding deadweight and quality. This was achieved despite the many constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the Herculean efforts made by the yard and excellent cooperation among all the counterparties involved.

The barge will be operated by AAS Amur Assets Shipping Limited, a joint venture set up by Combi Lift to support its role in the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant, 150 km from Russia’s border with China. Like the earlier Damen vessels operating there, the new barge has been designed to navigate the very shallow inland waters in which it will operate. This involved minimising the weight while maximising the length and beam so as to increase buoyancy and reducing the draught. In total, Combi Lift is responsible for moving 176,000 tonnes of equipment and material that is required at the site of the new facility. The Tomsk will be tasked with transporting some of the largest components, including two, oversized heavy items that are critical for the operation of the processing plant. Hence the importance of the precise timing of the delivery.

The timeline for the project got underway on the 14th of May 2020 when the contract was signed, followed by steel cutting commencing at Damen Yichang Shipyard three months later in August. The barge was then launched earlier this month on the 6th of April with a delivery ceremony (without the barge) taking place on the 19th in Bremen, Germany.

Following its handover, the barge is to be transported to Shanghai where it will be floated on to a semi-submersible transport ship that will take it to South Korea where the first cargo will be loaded. The transport vessel, barge and cargo will then proceed to the Russian port of De-Kastri on the Sea of Okhotsk where the laden barge will be floated off to start the 2,370 km journey to the construction site.

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