The Gorgon project is one of the world’s largest natural gas developments and the largest single resource project in Australia’s history. The project involves developing the Greater Gorgon Area gas fields and constructing an LNG plant on Barrow Island (BWI). Barrow Island is a Class A Nature reserve - a small island located off the coast of Western Australia, which is home to plant and animal species that are rare or extinct on the mainland. In order to protect the island’s unique flora and fauna a comprehensive environmental management system is in place.
The RollDock Sun entered in to a time charter April 2012 in Singapore. The vessel was chartered to perform a “shuttle” service between the Asian Marshalling Yard (AMY) in Thailand and BWI.
In order to comply with the environmental recquirements the vessel and her crew were “Gorgonized” in Singapore prior being mobilized for the first cargo. The purpose of this “Gorgonization” is to prevent the introduction of new species or disturbances to wildlife on the Island.
A brief summary of the work undertaken:
- Cleaning of the vessel, incl. all ballast tanks, coolers, sea inlets etc.;
- Replacement of all external lights with soft yellow bulbs / tubes and tinting of all
windows in order to create less of a disturbance to the local turtles;
- Identify all safety hazards and implement mitigating measures; Removal of all untreated forest products, such as dunnage, cable reels, plants etc.;
- The crew received additional training covering Quarantine and Safety practices.
When the vessel and crew were ready to commence the project, the cargoes from AMY in Thailand were not load ready. The vessel was therefore utilized for other voyages. Throughout the first eighteen months the vessel transported various types of cargo to Barrow Island from Australia, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Thailand and China. In early 2014 a Propane sphere of 538 mt. was loaded in Henderson, Australia using the vessel’s cranes and discharged at BWI. Upon completion of discharging at BWI the vessel sailed to Balamban, Philippines to load a full cargo of Waste Heat Recovery Modules (WHRU’s) and accessories utilizing the full capabilities of the vessel. The WHRU’s ( 628 mt.) and the bypass stacks were loaded by Ro-Ro method at deck level 4, and submerged to match the quay height with the temporary dock bulkhead installed. Due to the layout of the berth the vessel had to moor stern to for each of the Ro-Ro operations - a maneuver executed flawlessly every time by the Captain and crew. The remaining cargo was loaded onboard using the vessel’s own lifting gear.
Over the coming months the vessel will continue to work on the Gorgon Project, with scheduled voyages from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea.