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Issue #592

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Breakbulk Quarterly

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2014 Media Kit

GAC-OMA alliance proves equal to giant barge challenge in West Africa

By: | at 04:46 PM | Breakbulk & Projects  

There’s a sea monster lying in wait at the port of Abidjan – thanks to GAC and its local partner OMA Ivory Coast.

The ‘Hyundai 60’ barge under tow, passing the Vridi Channel to enter in the port of Abidjan
The ‘Hyundai 60’ barge under tow, passing the Vridi Channel to enter in the port of Abidjan

The massive installation barge ‘Hyundai 60’ weighs in at 34,125t, is 187m long and is equipped with a 1,800t crane. Until recently, she has been engaged in pipe-laying and offshore installation works off the coast of Escravos, with GAC Nigeria providing a range of ship agency, husbandry and logistics services for her and her attendant fleet of support vessels.

The barge was then demobilised and moved to Abidjan for maintenance work while she’s being held in stand-by until she is needed for the next phase starting in October. Upon arrival, GAC worked with TRACE-certified local partner OMA Ivory Coast to provide the range of agency, supplies, crew and logistics support the ‘Hyundai 60’ needed for her stay in port. The team has also been entrusted with the demobilisation and export of a 300t hydraulic hammer later this month.

Size Matters

The barge had to be carefully manoeuvred into Abidjan’s inner anchorage, taking into account strong currents and high voltage electrical cables crossing the channel at 66m (the air draft of the ‘Hyundai 60’ is just 58m, leaving very little room for error). OMA Ivory Coast co-ordinated with Abidjan port pilots, and arranged tugboats and a power shutdown to ensure that the operation was completed safely and efficiently.

Winning Combination

Erland Ebbersten, GAC Group Vice President for Africa, Russia & Central Asia says the winning combination of GAC and OMA helped smooth out all potential problems and deliver safe and streamlined handling of the massive vessel.

“GAC & OMA’s ability to work together to offer common services in West Africa ensured continuity and peace of mind for the principal who appointed GAC to handle the barge,” he adds. “Our appointment to take care of the ‘Hyundai 60’ serves as a timely reminder that through co-operation with our strategic network partner, OMA, we can provide prompt, value-for-money solutions to meet the sometimes complex requirements of our customers operating in West Africa.

“For those who know and trust GAC services, it brings the added advantage and comfort of effectively only having to work with a single service provider, and knowing that the very high operational standards set by GAC will be met.”

The GAC-OMA team are already preparing for the barge’s remobilisation in September to return to Nigeria for the second phase of operations. That will include taking care of all the formalities for 300 workers who will be brought in to work on the ‘Hyundai 60’ as well as clearance and delivery of ship spares and project equipment to prepare for the task ahead.