128-axle NICOLAS units move 3,340-ton oil rig topside
Wellmann Group supplies on-site transport & weighing services to the whole Guinean Gulf region. On the Lagos based NIGERDOCK fabrication yard, Wellmann recently performed the transportation of the heaviest Oil & Gas structure ever manufactured in Nigeria. The 50 x 60m sized topside weighed 3,340 tons and was handled on four groups of synchronized Nicolas MHD SP modular trailers totaling 128 axle lines.
"Transporting this structure was a very delicate job due to the really off centered position of the center of gravity. Such kind of barge load out could only be successfully achieved thanks to the excellent long lasting partnership between Wellmann and NIcolas' project and technical teams," explains Pierre Berret, TII Area Manager Sales in charge of North & Western African countries.
Once the Nicolas trailer configuration was put in place by Wellmann’s skilled operational team, the topside was lashed to the trailers. It was then lifted from its fabrication foundations which were welded onto the barge during the night. After staying the whole night loaded on top of the vehicle combination, the load was driven towards the jetty the next morning. When the tide made it possible, the hydrostatically driven Nicolas MHD SP modules were driven on the access ramp and slowly rolled onto the ballasted barge. One after the other, the trailers‘ axle lines reached the barge’s surface very smoothly, synchronized with the deballasting operations. At sunset, the topside was laying again on its original supporting foundations.
Nicolas self-propelled MHD modular trailers are available in 3- to 8-axle-line modules and can be powered by either 215 hp or 410 hp (up to Tier IV final stage) power packs. Coupling sets make the combination between different vehicle generations easy. Mechanically and electronically steered modules can also be coupled by adapting the steering program. The Nicolas MHD technology is also successfully used for industrial handling purposes (offshore windmill, power plants or rig moves) and users highly appreciate the user friendly up-to-date CAN-OPEN communication system ensuring a constant monitoring of the status of the vehicle.