Swedish power shift

11 April 2008

BigLift's MV Happy River discharges the first heavy lift cargo to arrive, the gas turbine weighing 3

BigLift's MV Happy River discharges the first heavy lift cargo to arrive, the gas turbine weighing 302 tonnes

On behalf of E.ON, Värmekraft Sverige AG, a consortium consisting of Hitachi Power Europe GmbH (HPE) and GE Energy, transformed an existing old power plant in the Port of Malmö, Sweden in to a new plant with a capacity of 440 MW electricity and 250 MW heat extraction. Contract value is €220 million (US$327 million. As part of the Öresundverket project HPE is responsible for removing and scrapping the old and redundant equipment, renovating the existing buildings, installing the new equipment and commissioning the new plant.

A substantial part of the new power plant equipment is manufactured abroad. The equipment is shipped from, among other countries, France and South Korea, to a trans-shipment facility closest to the power plant in the Malmö port area.

The onward transport to the construction site and the final installation of the heavy and large new equipment, the heavy lifts and its auxiliary equipment, was done by a single contractor. After an international bidding procedure, consortium leader HPE, awarded the contract to Hansa Meyer Global and the Project Division of Westdijk Exceptioneel Transport B.V. in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

Westdijk also operates a subsidiary heavy and specialized transport company, including a project division, in Stenungsund, Sweden. Westdijk contracted G. van Harten's HeavyLift Division in Veenendaal, the Netherlands, to carry out the installation work. Both companies co-operate to a large extent when it comes to projects involving integrated transport, lifting and installation work.

The nine-month project, involving handling some 30 heavylifts, started in September 2007 and continues until April 2008. The heaviest items are two sets of gas turbines and generators, each item weighing, respectively, 272 and 302 tonnes. The first set was moved and installed in September.

During the tender stage of the project a Westdijk engineer carried out a road and site survey in Malmö. A short and suitable route, only about 3 km long, was available. However, one obstacle required additional measures before the authorities would grant a permit. An underground sewer channel, that had to be crossed, required protection. An acceptable solution was found in placing a temporary jumper bridge over the channel. The temporary road on site required steel plates to be laid at a number of locations.

Due to the weight in combination with the extensive width of both the gas turbine and the generator, Westdijk opted for using a double-wide nine-axle line Goldhofer THP/UT hydraulic modular trailer. The first heavy lift to arrive was the 10.95 m long, 4.98 m wide and 5.04 m high gas turbine, later to be followed by the 10.78 m long, 5.22 m wide and 4.40 m high generator.

Both loads were delivered by heavylift shipping specialists BigLift in two separate and consecutive shipments. The 302 and 272 tonne loads were discharged as single crane lifts by, respectively, a 400 tonne capacity crane on board the MV Happy River and a 275 tonne crane on board the MV Tracer. The GE Energy 9FB gas turbine was delivered in a load spreading cradle that could be loaded straight on to the Goldhofers. The generator, however, required seven wooden mats, over the full width of the double wide trailer, to sufficiently distribute the point loads generated by the relatively small bearing area of the seven support strips underneath.

Transport of both loads was done in daylight. Prior to the first transport the jumper bridge was installed, consisting of 11.70 m long steel mats positioned side-by-side, plus additional on and off ramps. Traction, in push-pull set-up, was provided by Westdijk's four-axle DAF and M.A.N. ballasted tractors. Transport of both loads on the double-wide trailer, including crossing the temporary bridge and negotiating three 90-degree corners, went flawlessly.

For the installation of the gas turbine, to be followed by the generator in a separate operation, G. van Harten used its new 1,100 US ton (1,000 metric tonne) capacity Hydrospex hydraulic telescopic gantry system. Van Harten already operates Hydrospex hydraulic gantries in the 60 to 400 metric tonne range. The SBL1100 system consists of four self-contained units, each equipped with features such as self-propelled tank rollers, a foldable boom with three stage full powered hydraulic cylinders, full mechanical boom locking and automatic synchronization via the Intellilift Control system. The three-stage octagonal shaped boom provides a capacity, per unit, of 250 metric tonnes at 7.15 m, 155 metric tonnes at 9.95 m and 100 metric tones at 12.75 m lift heights.

To lift the gas turbine into place, two Hydrospex units were put on a 50 m long track, at either side of the foundation. Both tracks were centered 9 m apart to allow the double-wide Goldhofer to be manoeuvred in between. A pair of units was interconnected by a lifting beam across the gas turbine, while each beam was equipped with a set of two remote controlled and electrically powered self-propelled lift plates to allow sideshifting. In this way the gas turbine was lifted from the trailer to a beam height of 10 m, before the load was crawled over and lowered on to its foundation. The sideshift was used to allow for exact positioning.

Installing the generator behind the gas turbine was a more complex operation. The only way to get it in was to lift it over the already-installed gas turbine to reach its foundation. That required the 272 tonne load to be lifted by four units at a beam height of 13 m to clear the gas turbine and before it could start its 40 m travel. To guarantee maximum safety and stability during, especially, crawling, a gantry set-up was engineered, connecting the boom heads of both units by a longitudinal beam. Cross lifting beams were installed on top and centered in line with the lifting points of the load and the gantry units.

Once the generator was at height, the gantry set-up was cross chained for extra rigidity. In a carefully monitored operation the generator was moved over the gas turbine before it reached its foundation. Following that the load was lowered on to the 5 m high foundation. It was put on temporary cribbing, before final and exact installation over the anchor bolts, again using the sideshift on the cross lifting beams. The operation was completed in about three hours.

After completion of the first phase of the project the Westdijk started on handling 12 prefabricated boiler modules, ranging in weight from 100 to 220 tonnes and measuring up to 26.50 m long, 4.45 m wide and 4.50 m high. The modules are stored at the quay on temporary supports supplied by Westdijk's Swedish subsidiary and loaded and transported on Westdijk's Goldhofer hydraulic modular trailers, now in a single 14-axle line configuration.

In the following phases of the project Westdijk's heavy transport trailers and G. van Harten's heavy lifting gantries will again go hand in hand to haul and install the remaining power plant equipment.

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