ALE received the two 830 tonne vessels at Mina Zayed Port using two self-propelled modular transport (SPMT) in 4-file, 12-axle; and, 4-file, 14-axle split trailer configurations. Measuring 98 m long x 8.5 m wide x 8 m high, the vessels were the largest ever handled in this port says ALE. Each vessel was lashed down, then directly loaded out to the ALE 300 barge then lashed and secured to the barge. “A special feature of ALE 300 is its above-standard deck loading capacity of 20 tonnes per square metre,” commented Richard Peckover, executive director of ALE – Middle East. “This maximises load capacity and minimises load spreading requirements, setting a new standard for efficiency in barge loading operations.” After load-in at the Ruwais Industrial Area Services Harbour, the de-methaniser vessels underwent a ‘jack and pack’ operation. Using the SPMTs’ integral jacking stroke, each vessel was jacked up from 1.6 metres under the saddles to 3.1 metres in order to change to a bolster – or turn table – configuration. The SPMTs were then fitted with heavy-duty bolster turn tables and load spreading for land transportation along Highway E11. “Transporting the vessels from Ruwais to the first parking area 12 km from the city required a purpose built road, which was constructed in coordination with Ruwais authorities, as well as a purpose-built section of the central reservation on the highway,” said Cameron Waugh, general manager at ALE “Once we reached the first parking area we then had to change the SPMTs to a split trailer configuration to meet Department of Transport guidelines for the remainder of the journey along the highway.” The 100 km to Habshan took seven nights and required ALE to negotiate road works, bypasses, overhead gantries and sign boards. On reaching the final parking area, the transport configuration was changed back to a bolster configuration to meet site access restrictions and manoeuvring requirements for the remaining 20 km. “The final transport through the site, in coordination with Abu Dhabi Critical National Infrastructure Authority, was conducted in daylight hours with a total of three km negotiated along a purpose-built route to the delivery position and foundation,” said Cameron.The entire transport took 21 days. ALE initiated the build of the ALE 300 in June 2010 as an addition to its fleet in the Middle East. It also recently invested in the 600-tonne capacity Terex Demag CC2800-1 crawler crane – which began work in July 2011 – for use in the region.