Allseas Global Logistics is playing a pivotal role in a unique project to deliver essential water supplies by pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea to Northern Cyprus.
The Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project, which is a world-first, will supply 19.8 million gallons a year of water for drinking and irrigation to Northern Cyprus from southern Turkey, via an 80-km long, 1.6-metre diameter pipeline which will be suspended at a depth of 250 metres below the water surface.
A critical part of the project is the supply by Trelleborg Offshore of 132 giant buoyancy modules which will hold the pipeline in place.
In addition to the buoyancy modules, Allseas shipped 270 ancillary pieces known as bend restraints. These bend restraints provide a gradual stiffness to the connection between the pipeline and the buoyancy module ensuring that there is minimal fatigue, thus increasing the service life of this part in the project.
Trelleborg Offshore has manufactured these specially designed buoys in Skelmersdale in the UK, and has appointed Allseas to transport them from there to the project assembly site at the port of Taşucu, in Turkey.
Each 8-tonne buoy measures 3 metres in diameter and 3.6 metres in length.
Allseas has been appointed to:
• Collect the buoys from the factory in Skelmersdale, loading them to trucks;
• Transport the buoys by road to the Port of Felixstowe for loading on to flatracks and shipping to the Port of Mersin;
• Unload the buoys from the flatracks at Mersin and assist with Customs and other documentation;
• Reload the buoys to road trucks for the journey to Taşucu commercial port;
• Unload the buoys at Taşucu, organising cranes for the task.
“This is an amazing and unique project and we are proud to be part of it,” said Des Nott, Allseas project manager. “The challenges of lifting, securing and transporting these huge buoys are tremendous. For example, they are loaded end-to-end for the truck journey but side-by-side on the flatracks, so loading/unloading requires a 90-degree turn.
“We started moving the buoys in February (2014) and the last shipment will depart Felixstowe at the end of May, for arrival in Taşucu in early June.”
Ruth Clay, Trelleborg Offshore’s marketing communications manager, said: “This pipeline will run across one of the deepest parts of the Mediterranean – it will not be on the seabed like most pipelines, but held 250 metres below the surface. The buoys will keep the pipeline suspended deep enough so ships cannot hit it, but not on the seabed, where it could get damaged by debris. Hence the reliability and efficiency of the Trelleborg buoyancy modules are a key element of the project. Safe handling, planning and good communications have all been vital to keep the project running smoothly and we have been able to deliver exactly what was required.”