Petroterminal de Panama
Prior to commencing work at the Charco Azul Terminal, extensive preparation was required to mobilize the project. The terminal’s remote location made it necessary to deliver all equipment on a single voyage with the Weeks 531 Crane Barge. Moreover, the voyage included passage through the Panama Canal, a transit which required coordination with towing services and shipping agents, and the clearance from the Panama Canal Authority. In April 2021, after months of planning, Weeks successfully made the 22-day passage from Morgan City, Louisiana and arrived at the terminal.
Once on-site Weeks quickly got to work replacing the four breasting dolphins at the terminal. The dolphins, located on an extremely steep slope, are built to support VLCC tanker ships that can reach up to 320,000 dead weight tons, and 1,000 feet long. These factors influenced both the engineering of the dolphins and the selection of equipment. The dolphins were designed with 7- and 9-foot diameter monopiles, weighing up to 245 tons. These monopiles were driven to depths of 80 feet, with the Weeks 531. To accomplish this, the Weeks 531 was outfitted with the industry’s most powerful hammers, including a 14-ton Piston Diesel Impact Hammer and 351 Ton Maximum Line Pull Quad Beam Vibratory Hammer. With careful planning and the right team and equipment, Weeks completed the replacement of all four dolphins in August 2021.