As the largest single resource development in Australia's history, the Chevron-led Gorgon Project will be an important element of the Australian economy for many decades. But unlocking the energy of the Gorgon field off the remote north-west coast requires world-class logistics to move infrastructure, equipment, people and resources around the country.
Heavy, awkward cargo combined with remote locations are a perennial source of headaches for oil and gas companies and their transport providers. With support from the NorSea Group in Australia, WWL stepped in with a smart, safe and effective solution for relocating the world’s largest capacity tower crane. The tower crane is called the M2480D and was designed in 2007.
A cost-effective alternative to road or rail
Typically, such cargo is transported by road or rail. But the costs of such transport are high in a country as vast as Australia. Perth to Melbourne is almost 3,500km by road, resulting in exceptionally high monetary and environmental costs.
Protecting the natural environment on and around Barrow Island is a high priority for all on the project, and thus there are more than 300 procedures and specifications for suppliers to meet. As one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Chevron demanded the highest levels of safety from everyone involved.
RoRo provided the ideal solution for moving the crane around in a timely manner to meet the project schedule.
WWL successfully loaded the crane, knocked down on its side, onto 25 roll trailers to enable safe and relatively straightforward transport from land to the vessel. Roll trailers are the workhorses of the WWL equipment fleet. Developed for all kinds of breakbulk up to 140 tonnes and up to 28 metres in length, the trailers are simply towed on and off the vessel.
The vessel, fully-loaded with multi-million-dollar cargo including the M2480D crane tower, continues to make repeated journeys along the Australian coastline. As the crane remains on roll trailers for the entire journey, there is no unnecessary lifting with RoRo.
With the possibility of significant cost savings and a reduced risk of damage to the cargo and the environment, coastal freight has the potential to be a game-changer for both the Australian market and for the oil and gas industry around the world.