Harland and Wolff have performed the world’s heaviest single point water load test at the shipyard facility in Belfast, United Kingdom. The massive Samson gantry crane lifted an incredible 774 tonne load in order to certify Harland & Wolff’s latest spreader beam arrangement. The spreader beam has been a strategic investment to support the company’s handling capability for large offshore structures such as jackets and offshore modules.

The load test bags were provided by Unique Seaflex who are specialists in marine air lift buoyancy bags and water load test weights. They provided 24 bags of various capacities which when filled with water provided the total load of 766 tonne which is the world’s heaviest single point water load test.

Unique Seaflex’s Site Services Manager Ben Board commented, ‘We are delighted to have been selected by Harland & Wolff to execute this historic test. We have been coordinating with the client for a number of weeks to ensure a safe, expedient and well-engineered solution. We provided all the water bags from our own extensive stock and with the insight gained from this project are looking forward to repeat business with other clients.’

The actual test was over in a matter of minutes however each water bag took 20 minutes to fill. The test equipment had a wireless link from the lifting gear shackles to a remote load monitoring station to observe the incremental loading. The test was witnessed and certified by the Lloyds Ireland Surveyor Graham Knowles who was satisfied with the operation and pleased to participate in this unique world record.

Harland & Wolff’s Construction Manager, Chris Matthews directed the entire operation and was delighted with the result: “This is an important milestone in Harland & Wolff’s heavy lifting capability for offshore fabrication projects. The spreader beam combination is purposely designed for the lifting of jackets onto barges, but can be used in a variety of configurations for a range of heavy structures.”

Harland & Wolff continue to invest in its heavy engineering facility and look forward to utilising the new lifting capability on future projects.