Finland-based heavy haulage company Silvasti was assigned to transport a 138 tonne transformer from the Kalajoki substation in Finland to the expanded 220 kilovolt substation beside the Vajukoski hydropower plant at Sodankylä, Northern Lapland.
The project scope included the loading of the transformer at Kalajoki and also placing it onto its ‘new apartment’ at Vajukoski, plus the transportation of other components onto three scheduled truckloads. The distance between these main substations is more than 500 kilometres. As a normal procedure, every person arriving at the substation areas had to pass a special safety training course in advance, the company said.
The road transport loading and unloading operations were handled by Silvasti using equipment and procedures tailor-made for the handling of heavy transformers. These operations took only a few hours at each end after careful planning and engineering, Silvasti said.
Many of the 15 bridges on the route were near to maximum limit of the carrying capacity so every tonne of total weight had to be minimised. Due to the challenging dimensions of the transport, the Silvasti team had to drive on the motorway in opposite directions with police escorts, passing through the large towns of Oulu, Kemi and Rovaniemi. The transport also had to pass the Finnish main railway line. On this railway junction there was a scheduled power cut and temporary removal of electric railway power cables. Silvasti explained that the entire transportation had to be synchronised according to the railway scheduling, and that arrival to this junction any later than agreed would have caused a delay of several weeks.
Along the transport route, Silvasti – a member to the Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) network for Finland - co-ordinated and completed the removal and re-installation of numerous overhead traffic sign portals and overhead lines.