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ITE Transport and Logistics

5 of Russia’s biggest breakbulk cargo projects

The Russian recession may have restricted demand for super heavy transport services, but put that negativity aside for one moment. Recovery is gradually spreading through Russia’s economy – buoyed by intense spending on large-scale megaprojects.

Across 2017, Russia has opened up its chequebook and hurled cash into key areas of its economy. Development of the oil and gas industries, updating of nationwide infrastructure, and large-scale construction work is reinvigorating the Russian project cargo sector.

But Russia has interests overseas too, which sees carriers moving heavy cargoes from the Russian heartland to destinations thousands of miles away.
So let’s take a look at five of the biggest breakbulk projects undertaken by international and domestic carriers in Russia throughout 2017 so far. The loads handled indicate the types of hefty cargoes needing transportation throughout the world’s largest country – and the opportunities for breakbulk specialists held there.

Breakbulk cargo projects from across Russia

Yamal LNG components

Location: Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium to Sabetta, Yamal Peninsula, Russia
Cargo: Outsized LNG modules 
Transport company: ALE 
Date: April 2017

Yamal LNG is an integrated liquid natural gas production, liquefaction, and transport facility currently under construction in the arctic regions of Russia’s frozen Far East. Once complete, it is expected to pump out 16.5 million tons of refined gas a year.

In April 2017, heavy-lift specialists ALE completed the first phase of its Yamal transhipment operations. It moved several outsized modules at the Port of Zeebrugge, ready for transport to Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula Russia. Specific polar-class vessels will be carrying the load, as Sabetta sits on year-round frozen waters.

The cargo is part of the Yamal LNG Project’s Modular Intermediate Storage Yard, or MISY, and will be shipped to Sabetta in Northern Russia.

“We have been working on this project since the very early preparation stages in 2015. We look forward to the successful completion of the logistics phase of the Yamal LNG project, which has demonstrated our ability to manage a project-specific joint venture and a wide-ranging scope of work,” said Filippo Anello, Project Director at ALE.

As part of the project, ALE is leading a specifically created joint venture company with steel firm Lemants and terminal operator ICO to manage the MISY contract.

Filanovsky platform

Location: Filanovsky oil and gas field, Caspian Sea
Cargo: Oil and gas drilling platform 
Transport company: Mammoet 
Date: July 2017 

The Caspian Sea is rich in both natural gas and oil, yet is bordered on all sides by five different countries. The drive for each bordering to extract and develop the Caspian’s bountiful resources is heating up – and Russian is taking big strides in developing its acreage.

At the Filanovsky field, which contains as much as 153.1 million tons of oil and 32.2 billion cubic metres of gas, Lukoil, a major Russian producer, is busy at work. Breakbulk carrier Mammoet completed load-out and transport of an essential drilling platform to step up Lukoil’s efforts at Filanovsky earlier in 2017.

The stationary LSP-2 platform weighed 7,400 tons and was loaded onto a river barge using Mammoet‘s JS2400 push-up system. The platform was thusly able to be constructed on the ground and subsequently raised to the correct height for transport.

“In this case a load-out frame was inserted during jack up to provide sufficient height for installation at sea. Using this system removes the need to work at height, significantly increases safety and reduces the operation time,” a Mammoet spokesperson explained.

According to Mamoet, it took less than 40 days to complete the entire weighing, jack up, and load-out of the entire platform.

Delivery of outsized X-ray telescope

Location: Munich, Germany to Moscow, Russia
Cargo: eROSITA X-ray telescope
Transport company: AirBridgeCargo 
Date: May 2017

AirBridgeCargo (ABC) is at the forefront of Russia’s resurgent air freight sector, and it’s projects such as this that have secured ABC’s primary position.
ABC moved this huge piece of space-exploration kit on behalf of multinational logistics giants DHL. The eROSITA telescope, which features 7 mirror modules, 54 mirror shells, and 7 specially built X-ray cameras, is set to be launched into space where it will reside 1.5 million km away from Earth. Its mission is to scan the heavens using infrared and X-ray tech to uncover more of the mysteries of the universe.

The cargo was first loaded at the Max Planck Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics, near Munich, Germany. Due to the delicate nature of the instrument, engineers had to monitor the temperature environment on board the Boeing 747 freighter deployed for its journey to Moscow.

“We have extensive experience of delivering highly sensitive space cargoes such as satellites, and this expertise was certainly invaluable in demonstrating our credentials to the partners in this project. Once in space next year, eROSITA will completely enhance the way we view the universe,” said Walter Morris, Sales Manager at AirBridgeCargo.

The telescope will undergo further testing before it is integrated with the Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) spacecraft, ahead of a launch from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur spaceport in 2018.

Pile-driving & swaging equipment to Yuri Korchagin oil field

Location: Multiple origins to Yuri Korchagin oil field, Caspian Sea
Cargo: Pile-driving and swaging equipment
Transport company: GAC
Date: July 2017

Filanovsky is not the only field being developed off Russia’s Caspian coast. The Yuri Korchagin oil field, 180km from the port of Astrakhan, has been in production since 2010 – and operator Lukoil is intent on wringing every last drop of oil from it.

In July 2017, transportation firm GAC delivered 500 tons of pile-driving and swaging equipment to Yuri Korchagin from multiple points of origin. GAC moved the machinery, which included movement of an oversized block conductor and pile fastenings, from sites in the UK, The Netherlands, and Germany.
The cargo was required on a time-critical basis for the culmination of the second stage of Yuri Korchagin’s evolution underway in the North Caspian Sea.
“GAC pulled out all the stops to obtain the required permits to enable the 20 units – the two heaviest of which weighed in at 105 tons each and were almost 15 metres long – to be loaded on to a vessel sailing for Poti in Georgia,” a GAC spokesperson said.

The shipment was completed despite last-minute rerouting of the vessel to an alternative terminal and transfer by truck for the final 900km of the journey by road to Baku, Azerbaijan. The shipment was then delivered to LUKOIL subcontractor GT Sever.

Soyuz-ST launch vehicle

Location: Samara, Russia to Cayenne, French Guiana
Cargo: Soyuz launch vehicle
Transport company: Volga-Dnepr
Date: March 2017

While the other projects listed here revolved around carriers moving loads into Russia, this venture is quite the reverse – and does a handy job of highlighting how Russia’s project cargo sector holds opportunities in outbound freight.

Air specialists Volga-Dnepr, parent company of AirBridgeCargo, delivered the third stage of the Soyuz-ST launch vehicle to Europe’s spaceport outside of Cayenne, French Guiana. Essentially, this is a giant rocket capable of transporting satellites into orbit. The size and technical sensitivity of such units means each Soyuz craft must be transported and built in several phases.

Volga-Dnper delivered the over-dimensional unit in March 2017, prior to the launch of the US SES-15 satellite into orbit, which occurred in early April.
The cargo was loaded aboared a IL-76TD-90VC freighter in Samara, southern Russia before its journey to South America.
“The routing of the flight was also important given the fragile nature of the cargo, and was chosen to avoid the need for multiple landings en route,” a spokesperson for Volga-Dnepr said.

The consignment was delivered on behalf of the Progress Space Rocket Centre, and the vehicle will be prepared by satellite communications company, SES.

Uncover Russia’s project cargo potential at Breakbulk Russia

Breakbulk Russia is the nation’s largest exhibition designed solely for the breakbulk and project cargo sector - bringing together EPCs, ports and terminal operators, freight forwarders, transporters, and all industry professionals in one place at one time.

It is the venue to tap into Russia's economic recovery, and its exports/imports of super-heavy equipment, machinery, and technology, as it becomes a key player in megaprojects around the world.

Find out how you can take part in 2018’s event by contacting us today.


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