The Linde Group chose German heavy lift expert Combi Lift as its logistics partner for oversized and heavy lift cargo for the Gazprom Amur Gas Processing Plant Project. The entire scope involves transporting over 176,000 freight tonnes of cargo, including 12 columns weighing 900 tonnes each.
Spanning 2824 kilometres, the Amur River is the world’s tenth longest river, forming the border between the Russian Far East and North-eastern China. The port of discharge is Svobodny, located on the right bank of the Zeya River, a northern tributary of the Amur River. Heavy lift transportation is quite challenging in a place like this: The water is only 1.10 metres deep in some areas, and weather conditions are often severe.
Combi Lift developed a sophisticated concept to master this difficult feat: The cargo will be loaded onto Combi Lift’s heavy lift vessels in ports in Europe and Korea before being transferred to barges on the sheltered inner anchorage of the port of De-Kastri. Combi Lift will use its own vessel cranes to move cargo from the ocean-going vessel to barges in De-Kastri. Special shallow draft pusher tugs will tow the barges up the Amur and Zeya Rivers to Svobodny for discharging at jetty and transfer the cargo to the last mile logistics service provider.
Combi Lift will use newly built assets, including four Amur River tugs, four Zeya River shallow draft tugs, seven barges and four side floaters. Damen Shipyards Group will build all of these assets especially for this project. The barges can even navigate the Zeya River in extremely low water levels by using the side floaters as a buoyancy system.
The cargo will be shipped in five phases from 2018 – 2022, taking advantage of the ice-free periods on the Amur and Zeya Rivers.
Combi Lift will control all vessels used to provide these services. “In our view, this is the best way to ensure a secure logistics chain,” says Heiko Felderhoff, Chief Executive Officer of Combi Lift. “Our advantage is that we can allocate ocean-going vessels controlled by us with priority for this project.”
Gazprom, The Linde Group, Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk and NIPIGAS will use the delivered components for the Gazprom Amur GPP Project – one of the largest natural gas processing plants in the world, with a capacity of up to 42 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The plant is part of Gazprom’s project for the supply of Russian gas to China via the “Power of Siberia” pipeline from eastern Siberian gas fields, and will be built in five phases ending in 2024.
“We are delighted to be part of this fantastic project,” emphasises Heiko Felderhoff. “Gazprom Amur GPP is another milestone in our company’s history and a perfect opportunity to set new standards in maritime transport logistics and project engineering.”
Combi Lift is a Member of Cargo Equipment Experts CEE network in Germany.
Photo: Damen Amur-River push boat (© Damen)