A fleet of tugs assisted in a complex marine operation to deliver a new bridge for installation in Stockholm, Sweden
Tugboats operated by Marin & Haverikonsult manoeuvred a heavy transport ship carrying a 143-m bridge through tight passages and a turning circle in a busy harbour, helping COSCO Shipping Line’s ship Zhen Hua 33 to unload the Guldbron golden bridge at its destination.
This bridge is a major feature in Stockholm’s redevelopment of Slussen, the capital’s second-largest transportation hub. It links Gamla Stan island with Södermalm on the mainland.
The 3,700-tonne, US$19.5M bridge was built by China Railway Shanhaiguan Bridge Group in Guangzhou, China.
It was transported to Stockholm in Q1 2020 on 227-m long semi-submersible heavy-lift vessel Zhen Hua 33, which became the biggest vessel ever to visit the Swedish capital.
Its cargo was 45-m wide and exceeded Stockholm archipelago’s width restriction of 32.3 m, so additional considerations and simulations were required prior to implementing the challenging towage and manoeuvring project.
COSCO Shipping Lines appointed GAC Sweden to act as its local sub-agent to manage the delivery to engineering contractor Skanska Sverige.
GAC worked with Marin & Haverikonsult to plan the ship’s passage through the archipelago and the unloading operation, arranged permits with the Swedish Transport Agency and the Port Authority and made arrangements for the temporary International Ship and Port Facility Security Code zone with surveillance the ship would need when anchored in Stockholm.
Prior to Zhen Hua 33’s arrival, its passage and unloading plan were simulated and a maritime authority permit was received, but with conditions. These were wind speed of no more than 10-12 m/s, minimum 1 nautical mile of visibility, daylight navigation and two pilots to assist this ship’s passage through the busy waterway.
“The passage through the archipelago and the unloading operation went completely according to plan, thanks to the meticulous planning and close, constant co-operation between GAC, COSCO, the Swedish Maritime Administration, the receiver Skanska Sverige and the many other parties involved,” said COSCO Shipping Lines (Sweden) director and partner Erik Eriksen.
Zhen Hua 33 arrived in Sweden in March, after a delay due to weather along the route and was piloted through the archipelago successfully. It was manoeuvred to its berth and its Guldbron bridge cargo was unloaded with the assistance of Marin & Haverikonsult tugs.