Blue Water to Transport FSO from Keppel's Shipyard to Caspian Sea

Blue Water Marine & Energy A/S

Last year, Blue Water was awarded a large contract by Keppel Singmarine in Singapore for transport of a FSO (Floating, Storage, Offloading) from Singapore to Baku at the Caspian Sea.

The special vessel with a capacity of approximately 28,000 tons oil, is being built at Keppel Singmarine Shipyard in Singapore. Blue Water will arrange transport from Singapore via the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and further on through the Russian Don-Volga river system to the Caspian Sea.

The width of the smallest lock in the Russian river system is 17 meters, the maximum draught 3.00 meters and the height 14.00 meters, due to bridges and cables, which result in certain demands on the vessel's construction. Therefore it is built in two modules of the following dimensions: length 132.8 meters, width, 16.00 meters, height 17.0 meters and a draught of 3.00 meters - two large self-floating hull modules weighing 4,000 tons each.

In addition some equipment and parts for the FSO -- helideck, accommodation blocks etc. -- 4,000 tons/13,000 cbm in total need to be transported.

The hull modules and parts will be loaded on board two special heavy lift vessels in Singapore. Transshipment will take place in the Black Sea, where the self-floating modules will be tugged through the river system by tug boats. The other parts and equipment will be loaded on to river vessels and barges and transported through the river system from Azov to Astrakhan and the last section through the Caspian Sea to the oil city Baku in Azerbaijan. Here welding of the hull modules will be performed before delivery to the client, the Russian oil company Lukoil.

The project involves Blue Water offices in Singapore, Denmark, Russia and Azerbaijan, and the project team consists of experienced project forwarders, engineers and stevedore foremen. After more than 14 months of preparation, loading of both special-purpose vessels started last Sunday, August 31, and the vessels are now on their way towards the Black Sea, a voyage of more than 11,000 kilometers.