AG&P ALE's 'Hydro Deck' Commences Module Offloading for Ichthys LNG Project

AG&P ALE Ventures Pty Ltd., an Australian-based consortium, announced Friday that it has successfully deployed its proprietary mobile port solution, the Hydro Deck, to deliver the first modules to the Northern Territory’s largest-ever construction project, the Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG (liquefied natural gas) Project offshore Western Australia. Over the course of the project, the Hydro Deck will offload more than 200 large, pre-fabricated modules from sea to ground, overcoming Darwin’s twice-a-day, up to eight metre tidal variations.

Measuring 459 feet x 131 feet x 39 feet (140 meters x 40 meters x 12 meters), the Hydro Deck uses a water ballast and air tank system to provide buoyancy control, which allows it to compensate for both rapid tidal variations and load balancing as modules move across its deck. As a result, the Hydro Deck facilitates 24/7 roll-on, roll-off operations for combined loads up to 22,000 metric tons, significantly increasing module delivery windows and ensuring efficient, cost-effective and timely module delivery.

“We see enormous potential for the Hydro Deck, on a global scale, to enable projects of all sizes that have been logistically uncommercial or impossible up to this point,” said Augusto Gan, managing director of the Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company (AG&P). “The Hydro Deck, a world first floating dock, with its low draft and enormous ballasting capacity, can operate 24 hours per day for the duration of a project in the most challenging tidal conditions, or as a scaled-down version in placid seas. It will be the gateway that will unlock projects experiencing the most challenging tidal conditions in either remote or overcrowded locations.  We are delighted to premier this world-first innovation in Australia, and look forward to highlighting its strong impact in Darwin.”

AG&P ALE Ventures is providing the Hydro Deck on a fully-serviced, leased-basis, with 24/7 operational availability. This arrangement is reducing the project’s capital expenditure by removing the burden of an expensive asset that must be dealt with after project completion. In addition, the Hydro Deck is reducing the environmental footprint that would have been caused if the project had built a permanent structure for a temporary requirement. The Hydro Deck will be towed away upon scope completion.

“The Hydro Deck is a pioneering piece of infrastructure that represents the very best of ALE’s innovative approach to heavy load-ins, and AG&P’s world-class fabrication expertise,” said Paul Kelly, managing director of ALE’s Australian region. “Tidal variations and other difficult conditions can often cause large-scale projects to fall behind in schedule, resulting in major costs to the contractor and project owner. The Hydro Deck provides a critical solution that will make these concerns a thing of the past.”


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