Why RoRo’s a winner for power plant steam drums

The energy industry in the US relies on timely delivery of giant components from all over the world to power homes and businesses, which means reliable and safe ocean transportation of power plant equipment is a must.

Drum on terminal in Masan

Meeting the tight timeframes of the energy industry

What’s the safest, most efficient way to get 147-tonne high-pressure steam drums across the Pacific Ocean? That’s the challenge a global power generation equipment manufacturer faced when looking for shipping options from Korea to a power plant in the US, on time and damage-free.

Given the weight involved, each drum requires special inland transportation from the factory to the port – which can take up to two business days. Any last-minute changes to the sailing schedule could impact the inland transportation leg, potentially holding up the entire delivery and construction at the US power plant.

With multiple shipments in the pipeline, a reliable, regular ocean service was particularly important to the manufacturer, as was the ability to transport the steam drums in one piece to avoid the extra time and costs associated with dismantling.

Drum 1

Auto CAD software was used to decide on the optimal handling equipment for the drums: a purpose-built equipment solution called Samson-Light.

Drum 2

Samson-Light is an equipment solution using multi-purpose bogies (MPBs) connected together with a push bar.

Drum 3

For products such as high-pressure steam drums, which only have two separate supports and a heavy footprint, the Samson-Light is a perfect solution, enabling the weight to be distributed evenly between the two bogies.

Drum 4

Ramp and deck capacity is important for heavier products, making WW Ocean’s RoRo service ideally suited for such shipments.

Drum 5

The products remain on the handling equipment throughout the sea voyage and are securely fastened to the vessel deck.

The value of a reliable and frequent shipping schedule

The first steam drum was shipped by WW Ocean from the port of Masan in Korea to Baltimore in the US, with more to follow.

Given the frequent schedules, ramp and deck capacity catering for heavy products and minimal lifting for loading and discharging operations, WW Ocean’s RoRo service is ideally suited for such shipments.

The breakbulk project team used AutoCAD software to decide on the optimal handling equipment for the drums: a purpose-built equipment solution called Samson-Light that gently rolls the drums on and off the vessel. For products such as high-pressure steam drums, which only have two separate supports and a heavy footprint, the Samson-Light is a perfect solution, enabling the weight to be distributed evenly between two platforms, known as bogies.

Communication is key to ensure end customer delivery runs like clockwork for all parties involved. “The delivery schedule of project cargo like these steam drums is important as it’s connected to onsite construction timelines,” says WW Ocean breakbulk sales representative Kyuil Chun. “We closely monitor the itineraries of our vessels to keep customers and their suppliers up to date and meet tight deadlines.”

Did you know?

High-pressure steam drums are key components in heat recovery steam generators, heat exchangers that recover waste heat from gas turbines and convert it into steam to generate more electricity.

The benefits for the customer

For the OEM, attentive, consistent service and operational quality means WW Ocean provides a much faster, safer operation than using conventional carriers.

Certainly, the defined transit times and reduced handling risks offered by RoRo are helping the manufacturer to keep on track with its project schedules in the US.

The fact that RoRo vessels offer underdeck stowage is an added advantage, meaning valuable steam drums are not exposed to the elements and arrive in the best possible condition, adds the OEM.

Meanwhile, the reliability of vessel departure dates benefits the supplier in Korea, contributing to a more efficient supply chain.

“Accurate expected shipping dates are important for us as we use this information to schedule transportation to the port,” comments the supplier. “Regular updates from the WW Ocean team, as well as a competitive RoRo schedule and good coordination for everyone involved make the process run smoothly and mean our products arrive at the port at the correct time.”

Our handling equipment Samson-Light

  • Samson-Light is an equipment solution using multi-purpose bogies (MPBs) connected together with a push bar. MPBs are used in pairs and can be fitted with different attachments to create a cargo carrier that can be manoeuvred from both ends.
  • The advantage of Samson-Light is that the length of the push bar can be adjusted to fit the respective products.
  • For products such as high-pressure steam drums, which only have two separate supports and a heavy footprint, the Samson-Light is a perfect solution, enabling the weight to be distributed evenly between the two bogies.

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