Innovative ideas from Bennett Offshore
Besides working on liftboats, jack-up units, semisubmersibles and other offshore drilling & production facilites, Bennett Offshore has worked on other less conventional, yet highly innovative, projects.
Softberth™ - LNG Berthing System
In early 2003, Bennett was asked to design a rather unconventional berthing system to support the offshore loading / unloading activities for LNG carriers. The goal was to design a berthing system, to which an LNG carrier would be tied alongside. After significant review and concept design, the Softberth™ system was born.
The Softberth™ system, designed in conjunction with McMoran Exploration for the Main Pass Energy Hub, is a worldwide deployable berthing system for LNG/CNG Tanker Loading Operations. The system is composed of several semisubmersible platforms. A large LNG tanker can be moored directly to the semis, close to but not touching the main platform. This design would allow for compliant berthing of the vessel and provide a 95 percent berth availability under non-tropical storm conditions. The system is tuned to maintain vessel motions within the operating envelope of the unloading arms. This allows the use of conventional loading arms for the loading and unloading of LNG.
The key components of this berthing system are its utilization of semisubmersibles. Two large, triangular semis adjacent to the loading / offloading platform would serve as main fenders while two smaller triangular semis fore and aft of the vessel would serve as mooring dolphins. All components would be anchored to the seabed via a semi-taut mooring system tuned to obtain the desired motion characteristics.
Railcar Loading System - CG Railway
CG Railway approached Bennett Offshore to assist in the conversion of two single-deck railcar ferries, the Bali Sea and the Banda Sea. The intention was to modify the vessels to allow them to carry cargo on two decks and to design a loading system to allow railcars to be easily loaded into both decks.
Bennett engineers added a second deck to the vessel, effectively doubling its capacity, and designed an articulated loading ramp to allow the loading of both the main and second deck using the same ramp system.
Both the Bali and Banda Sea are now operating successfully in the Gulf of mexico. Click here to view a CG Railway article describing the rail-ferry operations of the Bali & Banda Sea.
CLICK ON PICTURES BELOW for higher-resolution Banda Sea conversion photos.
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