Project Summary

A total of 15 Foster Wheeler FCCU wet gas project modules destined for the Valero refinery in Benicia, CA, were transported in 4 inland hopper barges from their construction site in Tulsa, OK, to New Orleans, LA. There, the modules were transferred onto the oceangoing deck barge WESTERN CARRIER. The modules, weighing between 26 and 142 t, were secured with clips and chain lashings. After completion of the seafastenings and Panama Canal preparations and upon receipt of the tow approval certificate, the tug and barge departed New Orleans with destination Benicia, CA, The tow managed to successfully avoid an encounter with hurricane Rick which suddenly developed in the Pacific offshore Mazatlan.

The barge arrived in Richmond, CA, on October 30, 2009, where the seafastening clips were removed. Early next morning, the barge was shifted to the port of Benicia, where the modules were offloading in a 3 day period, by the 650 t capacity floating crane DB 5. The first module went straight into the refinery, using a self-propelled trailer for the road transport. The other modules were driven to a storage yard and set down onto cribbing stacks.

Scope of Work

The project scope included:


Project Photographs

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Est. 1992

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Loading and offloading trim and list calculations for the various barges;
Hopper floor strength calculations;
Specify the design criteria for the inland tow and ocean tow;
Review of the proposed module seafastening plan;
Survey the modules securing after loading into the hopper barges in Port of Catoose;
Survey the seafastening after transferring the modules onto the oceangoing barge in New Orleans;
Inspect the cargo barge WESTERN CARRIER and its towing connections;
Inspect the 3,420 hp coastal tug WESTERN RANGER and its towing gear;
Survey the modules upon arrival in Benicia and attend the offloading operation.
Western Carrier moored alongside floating crane DB 5
WESTERN CARRIER moored alongside crane barge DB 5
Module inside hopper barge
Module inside hopper barge
Modules secured on barge
Modules secured on barge
Module lifted off
Module lifted off
Module approaching cribbing stacks
Module approaching cribbing stacks