deugro utilises AN-124s for urgent petrochemical plant shipment
20 / 03 / 2023
Project specialist forwarder deugro helped delivered 13 plant components using three consecutive AN-124-100 air charter flights from Italy and Belgium to Saudi Arabia within seven days.
The components were required due to a production line shutdown at a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia.
“In close cooperation with the teams of deugro Italy, deugro Saudi Arabia and deugro Air Chartering, the project was completed within this very short time span, to minimize extremely costly downtime,” the company said.
The time-critical cargo units contained heat exchange equipment with a total volume of 811 cu m and a total weight of 252,216 kg, including convection modules with dimensions of 1,100 x 310 x 340 cm and weighing 54,500 kg.
Due to the dimensions of the heat exchanger modules, they could only be transported with Antonov aircraft.
However, after the start of the military conflict in Ukraine, which has dramatically impacted the heavy lift market and resulted in the loss of the AN-225 aircraft, the biggest challenge was to
secure the required aircraft in time, the company said.
“While the heat exchanger modules, which were the main scope of the shipment, were picked up from a supplier in Italy near Milan, the plant operator requested on short notice another delivery of a fan casing from another supplier in the Netherlands as an additional scope, which was added during a stopover at Ostend-Bruges Airport in Belgium,” explained deugro.
The first two flights from Italy to Saudi Arabia each contained three packages with a total weight of 86.81 and 71.50 metric tons respectively.
The third flight contained three packages with a total weight of 67.50 metric tons, which were loaded in Milan, and an additional four packages weighing 26.41 metric tons, loaded at Ostend-Bruges Airport.
“Due to the critical schedule, an air charter solution was selected to provide the shortest transit time. This allowed for choosing the airports of origin and destination as close as possible to the supplier locations and the plant site, and the schedule of the flights could be planned in accordance with the manufacturing schedules,” said Joost Maranus, senior project coordinator, deugro (Netherlands).
Several modules were too heavy to be lifted with the on-board crane of the AN-124-100, meaning the loading and offloading had to be executed using the carrier’s special loading ramps and external mobile cranes, which deugro arranged at the origin and destination airports on time.