Street moves

04 March 2008

The BP reactor was transported from Italy to the Port of LA by Jumbo Shipping on its heavy lift vessel Challenger. According to BCR, the load line on the ship's rear crane broke during offloading, causing one end of the reactor to drop onto the deck. Following the incident the reactor was placed onto the dock. This created a challenge for BCR as the port would not allow cranes to lift the reactor from the dock because it would not support the PSF loadings during the operation.

BCR devised a transfer system in which slide beams, placed on the dock, were aligned with the dock support piers, allowing the PSF loadings to be achieved. The company then used hydraulic jacks to lift the reactor onto the slide system, before it was moved some 120 feet (37 m) onto dry land.


A six-legged, 1,200 ton (1,071 tonne) capacity gantry crane was then set up around the reactor, which elevated it to a sufficient height to allow an 18 line doublewide Goldhofer platform trailer, with two PST power units for self-propulsion, to drive underneath it.

During the 4.5 mile (7.2 km) night time transfer to the BP refinery, the Goldhofer had to follow a specific path designated by the City of Los Angeles, to avoid underground utilities. This meant crisscrossing the street and constructing steel plate bridges in a leap-frog fashion as the load made its way along the route.

More than 25 utility companies and other agencies were involved with the transportation, which took eight hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

At the refinery BP constructed a tower around the reactor foundation, with BCR supplying steel support beams and a strand jack system which were placed on top of the tower. The company then used six legs of 800 ton (714 tonne) capacity gantry and slid the reactor into the pre-constructed tower. The strand jack cables were then rigged to a BCR 1,000 ton (893 tonne) capacity spreader.

Four of the gantry legs were then reconfigured to be used as a tailing mechanism while the strand jacks raised the load. The tailing gantry was removed and the rotating hook on top of the spreader bar was used to spin the reactor until it was in line with the foundation bolts.

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