Wk22-2017 Load-out of the 3rd spool

Load-out configuration of the 3rd spool.  The load-out management team proud of the product.

Installed under the spreader-frame on its way to the quay

Lowered down on the barge, in a first full fit. Compliments to the Yard foreman who is charge of the physical work and the crane driver.

The next spool is in production. In its own habitat the assembly of the sub-spools is performed. One full weld in one day.

To prevent the spool from unbalanced behaviour on the sea bed at a depth of 2500m below the water surface, a Buoyancy module is installed to keep a part of the spool floating.

Buoyancy modules ready for installation. The fixation rings are already installed.

Installed buoyancy modules will keep this part of the spool floating above the seabed.

Installed buoyancy module

Spool identification has to be painted on before the offshore installation can take place.

Insulated Pipe-in-Pipe preparation.At the HAB multi-jointing and Pipe-in-Pipe facility the welding works are finished ….. it is quiet a real shame for such a state-of-the-art fabrication facility.


Pipe storage, ready to be moved to the barge for load-out.

Coating inspection, each coated pipe is seriously re-inspected before transport off-shore

A repair on the SPMT.  An hour later it was operational again. With the compliments of the maintenance department

Also this year Margo initiated a day trip to the ‘Cashoera’ with the boys of Remar. It is almost a tradition to treat the bays on a yearly day trip. Margot, Guus and John are ending their contract and leaving Angola. With this they will end their always enthusiastic initiatives and support to the orphanage. MANY, MANY thanks for the three of you.. In the morning we arrive with two buses and the mini-truck at the REMAR facilities.

That day, the whole population of REMAR was already waiting for hours on our arrival. First the day starts with a safety induction in regard how to behave in the water.

Arriving at the Cashoera, the real fun stated. Our security was present in the water to take care of an IIF day.

Big fun in the water and on the beach. Playing around with the ball, acrobatics in the water and really a relief of their stress.

But playing in the water makes hungry. A BBQ was planned and with the support of the whole team, the hunger was stopped. Hamburger, chicken, sausage but also salat and as a dessert apple pie.



Margot dividing the sauces so every boy got his share from CALVE.

Some mental support was provided by David, the father of the orphanage, a great man.

After dinner, a second swim in the river.

And we close the happening with a group picture. HEEREMA and ALL OF YOU THANK FROM THE DEEP OF MY HART, again we managed an unforgetable day for 40 children that felt over the edge of the normal life that a child should live.


Wk37-2017 more spools, REMAR and 65

Spools and more spools (pictures by Michal Antecki)

The load-out of a spool onto the barge.

Testlift of the spool

Spreader-frame ready to be installed above a spool

VIV (Vortex Induced Vibration) Strakes, installed on the spool.

REMAR football tournament

Sunday the TECHNIP team organized a football tournament at the REMAR. The teams were installed and the last team were the Technip engineer from the HPA site team. 

New balls, drinks and some finger-food was part of this event. It was a very successful day and by this I want to thank the site team with Aymen as big promotor for the support they are giving to REMAR. Days like this are making the difference in their already so hard young lives .

BOB’s Birthday, 65 YEARS

It took me 65 years to reach the day of today (10 September), many ups a few downs and grateful to built the life that I have today. With a wonderful birthday cake , we celebrated my this event with wonderful people.

Thanks to all of you. 

The next 2 weeks I will be on leave in the Netherlands. I will be back 29 September.



Wheatstone spreader frames arrived on the yard for the load-out and installation of 10 spools

Welds are not coated to allow MPI on these welds.IMG_4910 kopiëren

Overview of the two Wheatstone frames with out-reachers to be installed spool dedicated.IMG_4914 kopiëren

Spreader frame in preparation for transport to the spool assembly area

The last three buoyancy tanks to be installed. By the end of September 2017, the SSCV Balder will be finishing its scope

Heerema barge H405 moored at the HPA quayside

BIGLIFT, HAPPY ROVER approached the yard to deliver installation equipment.

Spreader frame lifted from the SPMT’s ready to be installed at the spool assembly slot.
Happy Rover discharged its cargo and is ready to sale-away


New, small bore spool assembly is ongoing.


Last weekend I visited Quiçama National Park, also known as Kissama National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional do Quiçama or Parque Nacional da Quissama), is the national park in northwestern Angola. It is the only functioning national park in all of Angola, with the others being in disrepair due to the Angolan Civil War.
The park is approximately 70 km from Luanda, the Angolan capital. The park covers 3 million acres (12,000 km²), more than twice the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island.


What is now Quiçama National Park was formed as a game reserve in 1938. In January 1957, it was proclaimed a national park by the Portuguese administration of the Overseas Province of Angola.

The park once was home to an abundance of large game animals such as elephants and Giant Sable, but after wide-scale poaching during 25 years of civil war, the animal population was virtually eliminated.

In 2001, the Kissama Foundation, a group of Angolans and South Africans, initiated ‘Operation Noah’s Ark’ to transport animals, especially elephants, from neighbouring Botswana and South Africa. These animals, who were from overpopulated parks in their home countries, adapted well to the move. Noah’s Ark was the largest animal transplant of its kind in history and has given the park momentum to be restored to its natural state.

The restaurant at Quisama lodge. the lodge is managed by a friendly crew. As a regular visitor I am welcomed by the parc manager. In the evening I enjoy a simple but good dinner with a glass of wine and whisky as a desert. In the centre of the parc ‘Quissama loge’ is located. The lodge  is a gated area with accommodation to stay the night over. I visit the Quissama Lodge regular, at least twice per year and each time the Park improves.

The first Safari starts at 6:00 in the morning, a good time to se the most, only one problem, bad light for photographer. The Safari takes 3 hour through the park with an ancient UNIMOG

It is a great experience and the drive itself is already an adventure. We follow the dirt paths with the noisy truck.

The animals are used to the truck and visitors. 

The The wildebeests, also called Guns, are a genus of antelopes, scientific name Connochaetes. They belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, sheep and other even-toed horned ungulates. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the black wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu (C. gnou); and the blue wildebeest, or brindled gnu (C. taurinus). 

In East Africa, the blue wildebeest is the most abundant big game species; some populations perform an annual migration to new grazing grounds, but the black wildebeest is merely nomadic. Breeding in both takes place over a short period of time at the end of the rainy season and the calves are soon active and are able to move with the herd. Nevertheless, some fall prey to large carnivores. Wildebeest often graze in mixed herds with zebra which gives heightened awareness of potential predators.

Lamprotornis nitens (Cape Glossy starling, Glossy starling)  

The ‘Yellow-billed Hornbills'(Tockus leucomelas) is a Hornbill found in southern Africa. Yellow-billed hornbills feed mainly on the ground, where they forage for seeds, small insects, spiders and scorpions. This Hornbill species is a common and widespread resident of dry thornveldt and broad-leafed woodlands. They can often be seen along roads and water courses.

More giraffes here a complete family. The youngsters are protected by their parents. Very elegant and curious animals.

The monitor lizards are large lizards in the genus Varanus. They are native to Africa, Asia and Oceania, but are now found also in the Americas as an invasive species. A total of 79 species are currently recognized.

Monitor lizards have long necks, powerful tails and claws, and well-developed limbs. The adult length of extant species ranges from 20 cm (7.9 in) in some species, to over 3 m (10 ft) in the case of the Komodo dragon, though the extinct varanid known as megalania (Varanus priscus) may have been capable of reaching lengths of more than 7 m (23 ft). Most monitor species are terrestrial, but arboreal and semiaquatic monitors are also known. While most monitor lizards are carnivorous, eating eggs, smaller reptiles, fish, birds and small mammals, some also eat fruit and vegetation, depending on where they live. Picture below Monitor Lizard of 1.5m.

Crocodile on the borders of the Rio Kwanza



Wk35-2017 HPA, HAB, TOTAL and Local PA

Porto Amboim, on one side the serene environment of a former Portuguese colonial town and at the other side the engine of economy the HPA offshore FIRST CLASS fabrication yard.

No less that the simultaneous fabrication of 10 spools on site with a high safety and quality  performance you may expect from a Heerema site.

The trained,  highly competent and dedicated staff under the supervision of the Project Management teams, Marshalling and Fabrication, are credited for this job.

All disciplines add their skills to the completeness of the project.

The most complex configuration of spools are fabricated, tested and load-out.

Spreader-frame used for load-out, transport and installation with spool installed on the barge ready for sail-away

And one more spool landed on its supports on the barge. Now the sea-fastening will follow and tomorrow sail-away

All pre-fabrication work is finished resulting in an empty fabrication hall.

Stud-link anchor chain stored at the HPA logistic area.

Container storage at the yard

For HAB the KAOMBO project has finished. By the sail-away of the last barge this week with raiser double joint, HAB closed down the facilities and handed them over to HPA.

At the HAB abandoned buildings nature has already entered the facilities and installed their web.

The multi-jointing inbound and baffle are abandoned, the only thing you rear now is the wind

The ‘RABBIT’ control panel …. jobless

The Crawler Crane  LR1750 boomed down for maintenance.IMG_4243 kopiërenDuring the Monthly General Safety Presentation employees are recognized by HPA management as well as by the TOTAL site team for their safety performance.IMG_4260Heerema Porto Amboim yard seen from the Porto Amboim jetty as a landmark the HPA fabrication hall in the front. (double-click the picture to see more details, this will work with all pictures).

The Porto Amboim Jetty in a deteriorated stage, every few month part are disappearing into the sea. This typical landmark of Porto Amboim will completely disappear in a few years.

The view to side is the HPA yard, the view to the other side is the Porto Amboim beach and behind that the old city.

The Jetty is used by the local population to fish, no rods only a nylon fishing wire and a steel bold on the end.

Angola as a former Portuguese colony still has many buildings from this time. Time without maintenance deteriorated the buildings. But still you recognize the beautiful architecture. Now due to the economical crises, there is no funds available for restauration, really a shame.

Porto Amboim has a landing strip. In the past this landing strip was used for regular interprovincial flights. Now it is abandoned and occasionally the police helicopter of very rarely a governmental helicopter lands here. Further is is an abandoned place. The airport building is kept a life so in case of air travellers it can be used.IMG_3922

The rocks of Porto Amboim.© This image is the property of Bob van der MeerChildren as it always look, happy children all around.© This image is the property of Bob van der Meer


Wk34-2017 Elections and Load-out of Spool #14

(quote) (ABC-news) MPLA, the ruling party, claims they have a large lead over the main opposition with votes from nearly two-thirds of polling stations counted, the election commission said Thursday, opening the way for Defense Minister Joao Lourenco to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos after his 38-year rule.

The announcement followed a day of conflicting claims by the rival parties, which fought each other in a long civil war in the southern African nation that ended in 2002.

Provisional tallies showed the ruling MPLA party with 64 percent with nearly 6 million ballots counted from Wednesday’s vote, while the UNITA opposition party had 24 percent and a smaller opposition group, CASA-CE, had 8 percent, election commission spokeswoman Julia Ferreira said on live television.

(Porto Amboim, banners from the MPLA and UNITA)
The MPLA earlier Thursday claimed victory, saying partial results from its own tally indicated it had won a majority. UNITA disputed that claim.

(Mainstreet in Sumbe)
The MPLA made its claim after reviewing data relayed by its delegates from polling stations nationwide, said Joao Martins, a senior official at the party’s headquarters in Luanda, the capital, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
(MPLA head office in Porto Amboim)
About 9.3 million Angolans were registered to vote for the 220-member National Assembly; the winning party then selects the president.

UNITA said its own partial tally indicated it was trailing the ruling party by only 7 percent. UNITA said it had 40 percent of two million votes in its count, compared to 47 percent for the MPLA, whose Portuguese acronym means Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola.

UNITA, or the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, has said it would be willing to form a coalition with other opposition groups in order to govern.

(Election office in Porto Amboim)
Election officials said the vote went smoothly despite minor problems and delays. (unquote)

The last  I can underline, the days of the elections and the day after are quiet and peasefull although many questions the outcome of the elections. The National Electoral Commission does not disclose any outcome until all all votes are counted for. The several parties on their own publish their expectations and other parties question these figures. Only next week we should know.


This week week we finished the fabrication and load-out of the spool #14.  There part of the crew being instructed for the lifting and load-out operation.

The barge is prepared and the tugs are pushing the barge against the quay to restrict the movement as a result of the ever present swell.

Barge preparation equipment is lifted from the barge ad the area is prepared to receive the spool.

Spool #14, one of the biggest spool we have to fabricate up to deployed lengths of 176m. The fabrication is performed for the majority of local Angolan employees under management of HPA team of specialists.

Barge waiting on the quayside,

After load-out and sea-fastening the barge is set off to the field offshore. Another first-class product from the HPA first-class fabrication yard


WH34-2017 REMAR special

REMAR in Porto Amboim is a shelter for boys from 6 to 21 years. Homeless, orphans, young drug addicts, victims of physical abuse and other lost boys. REMAR provides a rehabilitation program for the boys, with the aim to bring them back into the community.

Heerema is supporting REMAR already for 5 years as one of their major social initiatives.

REMAR in Porto Amboim is housed in concrete buildings consisting of two dormitories, a kitchen, a classroom/dining room and a staff room.
We take care of the supply of their daily food in a balanced package under the responsibility of the HPA facility manager. 


On a monthly basis we visit the REMAR facilities and walk-around, talk to the staff and listen to their needs.  We advise them in the organization of the premises, and also propose new ideas, like the installation of a vegetable garden, the use of water, safety on electricity etc.
We try to support REMAR in a natural way. We enforce many initiatives to raise the quality of life and help them to develop their own ideas. We support with materials and goods and if necessary we provide input with our technical staff.

Many of the kids have no ID, birthday is lost and name of the parents is often unknown. For this reason they cannot enter the public school. We are in negotiation with the municipality to provide them a temporary ID so that they are able to follow classes.

In the meantime we also bring materials from holland, board games, football, notebooks and ballpoint as support of the in-house classroom. 

The boys are completely mad about football and believe me here you can spot some talent. On their bare feet they play the game.

Highly skilled in the street they show their talent were many amateur teams at home will be jealous  of. This distraction of their minds gives them some relieve from the often horrible past.

In the end all are the winners.

But the boys also love also mind games as Dam and Chess. Next time I will bring also Domino and the Ludo game.

Highly concentrated and with supporters next to them they sharpen their mind

With 5 boards not everybody can play at once, they have to wait for their turn

The Dam game is extremely popular as well. Here you can see the development of their mind and believe me, they are good!!!

.With the support of Heerema Porto Amboim and Heerema Marine Contractors we really can make a difference for these boys. With our support they will be able the move from the street back int the community be become appreciated citizens. For one boy from the early days Moises, together we changed his life. From an outcast he is now a highly skilled certified welder. Four years ago his future wish was to have a serious relationship and a family. This has come true. Heerema we should be proud of us!!!

If you have ideas and want to support us in any possible way, please contact: mmutsaerts@hmc-heerema.com


Wk33-2017 First Class Fabrication Performance.


After the first half of 2017 dealing with some serious health issues, I relly hope that with the rest of the summer holidays this comes to an end. We took our rest by walking the dogs, camping, hiking and nice road-trips. For the weather we were not that lucky, cold and lots of rain but with a roof above our heads and by time a good glass of wine gives you all the ingredients to relax. 

Holidays are over, we are back on the yard. To the already 8 slots, 2 more slots are added. We at HPA are fabricating 10 Spools/Jumpers simultaneously, this again is a new achievement, not only in Angola but a new world record.

Next to that these spools are huge in size, in weight and all in 3D execution.

Due to te high quality standard of our team for as wel the engineering, fabrication and marshalling, we do not face any serious problems. 

HPA performes in time and within budget. This is the biggest compliment we can gat.

Fabrication support as scaffolding, pressure test, dimensional control, QC, QA and finally the test lifts, all is under controle by the Project Management Team.

Our employees are proud of the achievement. Still every day they develop their skills.

Spaghetti spool runs over the yard.

All spools are supported with adjustable fabrication stands.

PIH the coating and insulation subcontractor has the availability of mobile units.

HAB (PTL) has finished its welding job on multijoints and Pipe In Pipe to be used for line pipe and raisers. The raiser installation by the Balder is ongoing.

The buildings are empty and the installation is decommissioned and preserved.




Wk28-2017 Andreza Magalhaes


This week  Didier Bertrand Project director of TOTAL for the KAOMBO project and Arno Schroor HMC Project director of KAOMBO including the representatives Julien Bouwense Menager, Samir Damou and site representative David Boubreque visited the HPA yard.


During the HPA site tour, we visited the Spool and Jumper assembly area. We are proud of our safety records and on the technical side also the extreme low repair rate on the welds. Up till today all spool were loaded out according schedule. 

Didier witnessed the impressive simultaneous assembly of 8 spools.  This achievement has never been shown in the whole world.

This is only possible in a safe way when the organisation fits. Our team of dedicated and well motivated professionals guarantee the  an IIF mentality and lead by example

At  the neighbouring Paenal Yard, the marshalling scope is in full operation. Barges approaching the quay are loaded with URA’s, LRA’s  (Upper and Lower raiser assemblies) and buoyancy tanks.

The spreader frames are also adjusted on the yard and then transported by SPMT to the HPA yard 

Spool is being prepared for the next load-out this week

Pressure test of the spoolIMG_3044-kopiëren

Barge EOS 4002 is repaired and moored on the HPA quay side. The barge is already outfitted for the next spool

Grillages are welded


NDE weld inspection

Welder with and earring???

Yes an earring, a woman stays a woman even if they do a mans job. Andreza Magalhaes, welder II, one of our female welders.

Two welders performing weld reinstatement for reuse of the supports. 

Steel spaghetti it is busy on the yard, 8 spools and the all require supporting


LIBRARY: In one of the poorest Baira’s (small local communities) of Porto Amboim Heerema Porto Amboim (HPA) is operating the local library. It is called ‘library’ but basically it is an educational community centre. It is run now for 5 years by two local licensed teachers. Next to the yearly library agenda (each month a different thema), they support the local community. 

Extra lessons for the students that need more support in reading, math, Portuguese, Angolan law but also this library is a wealth of information for the population. The library is well documented for the young people but als for the elderly man and woman. 

The two teachers provide support and information and what they do not know at that moment, they will find out and take care that the question is answered in a later stage. The students are eager to absorb knowledge, this they expect will be the only opportunity to change their future.

REMAR: The boys shelter in Porto Amboim is also supported by Heerema. It is located in the same Baira as the library.  Here children, in Porto Amboim only boys, are placed in the REMAR facilities. Heerema takes care of the buildings and technical facilities but also provides food for the children. Together with our funding partners, we are giving these children a second chance in their young lives. Taken from the street, abandoned and often abused, these children are damaged. With love and care the ‘Remar Father’ shows them that there is a different direction in life. In their own facilities the are educated, more mature children visit the local school.

In their spare time they play with everything that can make a game. Here an own created DAM game, they are extremely eager to win the game.

The other game they created is LUDO (in Dutch: Mens Erger Je Niet).

Next time I will provide them with some original DAM and CHESS games, real street footballs and for their school pencils and note books. These consumables are very hard for REMAR to get, they are always lacking if money.

For the coming weeks I will enjoy my summer holidays.
I will be back in  August.