ALE were contracted to perform the float-over ballasting during the 14,000t SylWin Alpha platform installation in the North Sea.
ALE provided all necessary equipment and designed bespoke control and monitoring systems to perform the float-over ballasting during installation.
The Sylwin Alpha was transported by the Nordic Giant 101 cargo barge from the Sylwin Alpha fabrication site in Warnemünde, Germany, to the North Sea, where it was constructed on-board the barge prior to being equipped with a ballast and draft monitoring and control system developed in-house by ALE.
With only nine 2m-wide entrances and a raised cill at 1.5m high, the team had to carefully split the ballast inlets across the three entrances and use one entrance to install eight 24PS pumps and four 10PS pumps under the SylWin Alpha Platform and route out the de-ballast.
The entire ballast system was designed as a bespoke solution to the tight, restrictive installation conditions. Barnaby Mills, Engineering Manager for the project, said:
“Our ballast systems are designed individually for each unique project. They are determined by the barge layout and deck supports.
“We found that this project was particularly challenging for both the engineering and operational teams as there was limited space underneath the platform. Bespoke lifting frames, pipe clamps and a protect frame were produced specifically for this project.
“The unique ballast system delivered 14,000 CM/hr of ballast water at the critical stage of the float-over installation for load transfer from the barge to the preinstalled jacket legs. We were really proud of the team’s efforts to achieve this.”
ALE currently own one of the largest fleets of ballast pumps in the world – with a total pumping capacity of over 160,000 Cu.M/Hr.