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The Barge and the Hospital

Harlyn Solutions

Project info:

Companies Involved:

Clarksons, Mammoet, Texo

Load Weight:

1340 tonne cargo, 1500 tonne rolling weight

Total Load Time:

15:30 hours


Port of Rosyth


Port of Tyne

An old dormitory gets a new purpose

Sometimes innovation doesn’t necessarily mean something new. Sometimes innovation comes down to the imagination to look at something old and give it a new purpose.

This was the case when a client approached Clarksons to put together a team to repurpose an old oil dormitory into a floating hospital capable of travelling to remote parts of Peru. The Accommodation unit sat dormant for years in the Port of Tyne, unused and taking up space.

The 1340 tonne red was an eyesore and a seeming waste, but when the pandemic hit and the need for hospitals to travel deep into remote places grew, a visionary saw something different in it. Hope and kindness.

At its core, innovation is just about seeing something that isn’t there and having the skill to make it happen. With Clarksons spearheading the project and Texo on board to retrofit the cargo, there was only one problem left to solve.

Harlyn Solutions

How to transport innovation

Regardless of the incredible capabilities of Texo and Mammoet and the visionary idea of Clarksons and those hiring them, the floating hospital was no good to the people of Peru if the cargo remained in Newcastle. Loading a topside 1340 tonne hospital onto an offshore barge is easier said than done.

The challenge:

The scope and amount of different parties involved was complex

The only way to really optimise and streamline a project of this scope is to have a single point of oversight and planning.

In order to accomplish the overall project, there were a myriad of steps and sub-contractors, calculations and projections, all of which needed a high level of expertise to oversee. Before Harlyn joined the project, there wasn’t a single company overseeing the planning, engineering, and management of the transport. Our technical skills were able to provide coordination and allow the project to drive forward.

Moving a barge from one port to another is complicated

Often, when moving a barge from one port to another, there are multiple handoffs between different types of tugs. Harbour tugs tow the barge to open sea and disconnect, while sea going tugs connect and tow to the harbour, where the step repeats itself in reverse.

Because of weather, time, and coordination, the transition between the harbour tugs and the sea going tugs is risky, time consuming, and adds extra cost to the project. Details like this can cause a project to get behind schedule and go over budget quickly.

Lifting a 1500 tonne piece of cargo onto a river barge is dangerous

Loading a barge always adds a new level of complexity to a lift, since the height and efficacy of the barge is dependent on tidal shifts and weather. If a barge is loaded at the wrong time, during the wrong weather, and at the wrong angle, the cargo itself can’t be lifted and secured properly.

Without an experienced engineer, the lift and transport of the heavy topside cargo was dangerous, even for a seasoned crew.

The power of a single manager

Fortunately, Harlyn Solutions was able to see the entire scope of the project and identify a number of solutions for the clients.

The solution:

Harlyn was able to take on the role of project oversight from beginning to end

Subcontractors each have their own priorities when it comes to a large project, and they are not always in line with each other and the overall scope of the project. With Harlyn overseeing the logistics of the overall project, they were able to manage the subcontractors effectively and diminish redundancies in the project.

Harlyn simplified the barge transport to minimise cost, time, and risk

Because Harlyn understood all the steps involved, it was decided to take the harbour tugs out altogether and use sea going tugs to tow the barge from the Port of Rosyth to the Port of Tyne. This saved the client money, time, and risk because the riskiest and most time consuming part of the tow was no longer necessary.

Harlyn oversaw the calculations of the lift, ensuring the barge could receive the cargo in a safe way

In this particular case, not only was Harlyn instrumental in projecting the right ocean conditions for a safe lift and load, but they worked with Mammoet and the Port of Tyne crew on site to calculate any necessary adjustments in real time.

Client testimonial

To the 11th hour

Because of Harlyn’s oversight, creative solutions, and detailed calculations, we were able to perform all the required management, coordination of the mobilisation of the barge to allow the cargo to be delivered on top. Providing vital input to planning, marine risk mitigation, mobilisation support and mooring plans Harlyn were able to fill in all the gaps between the other appointed subcontractors on the project. Providing flexibility and project drive to get the project on schedule.

Harlyn Solutions

When all was said and done

Outstanding performance Hamish, considering the obstacles faced right up to the 11th hour. This would never have been achieved without your support. Well done to you and the team at Harlyn and we look forward to completing this project along with many more going forward.

Richard Lamb, Texo Accomodation Managing Director

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