SAPREF’s offshore terminal has been in operation since 1970 and is a national keypoint which is essential to South Africa’s fuel supply and the economy. Ensuring the effective operation and maintenance of the Single Point Mooring (SPM) is therefore a constant focus for SAPREF and AMSOL; contracted to provide turnkey offshore terminal management services.

SAPREF is a joint venture between Shell and BP and the petroleum refinery manages and operates the Durban SPM through which approximately 80% of South Africa’s crude oil is imported. AMSOL provides a fleet of vessels, specialist personnel and comprehensive marine and terminal management services in support of this operation.

After successfully replacing the northerly and southerly legs of the mooring system in May 2020 using the AMSOL SPM Operations team with support from the AHTSV ‘Pacific Dolphin’, phase 2 of the project was completed in May this year.

The experienced project management team that completed phase 1 was re-assembled to achieve the project objective of executing the work scope predictably, in accordance with approved procedures, without any harm to personnel, equipment or the environment.

The ‘Boka Pegasus’, which has 60 berths and was fitted with an Oceaneering heavy work-class remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), was selected as the specialist support vessel. Preparation was thorough and included joint operations methodology as well as HAZOP (Hazard and Operability) workshops involving all parties; which reinforced the objectives of no harm to people, assets or the environment.

AMSOL developed a project specific COVID19 management plan whereby safe COVID-free working bubbles were created with clear protocols enforced. AMSOL’s BTV ‘Siyanda’ served as the main operations support vessel and the crew onboard the ‘Boka Pegasus’ and the ‘Siyanda’ could therefore interact safely as they had followed the COVID safety protocols put into place.   A separate work bubble was created for the floating hose team of 11 personnel to ensure that their critical work scope was completed without the wellbeing of the team being affected.

Commencing offshore at the end of April and despite adverse weather conditions at the outset of operations, the final task offshore which included a pressure test of the hoses from tanker hose end through the SBM and the 48-inch submarine pipeline to the onshore valve in the beach valve chamber was safely completed two weeks ahead of schedule in the second week of May to SAPREF’s satisfaction and within budget.