The engine of Nassau

20 March 2008

Emmert International had the job of installing a fully assembled and operational low-speed diesel en

Emmert International had the job of installing a fully assembled and operational low-speed diesel engine, weighing 450 tonnes, into an existing power plant in Nassau, Bahamas

Emmert International continued its quest to take on the most challenging of jobs with the installation of a fully assembled and operational low-speed diesel engine, weighing nearly one million pounds (454 tonnes), into an existing power plant in Nassau, Bahamas.

The first challenge was getting the MAN B&W low-speed diesel engine and all of the necessary equipment from the Port of Houston in Texas to the Clifton Pier Power Station in Nassau.

Due to the location of the rigging site, Emmert had to develop a thorough plan for determining what would be needed for the installation and get it all loaded onto the vessel with the engine. There would not have been enough time to get any additional equipment shipped from the US once rigging operations had started. All of Emmert's equipment had to clear US customs before it could be sent to the Bahamas.

Once the plan was completed, all the equipment was collected and placed on the MV Sea Island, a roll on/roll-off vessel. The engine was transferred from a heavy-lift ship directly onto a 10 axle self propelled trailer parked on the deck of the vessel. Both engine and trailer were then lashed to the deck. The other cargo was then secured and the Sea Island journeyed to the Bahamas. d At Clifton Pier and safely moored, the engine was driven off the ship to the entrance of the power plant.

On arrival at the power plants, Emmert's crews began positioning the engine and equipment for the rigging operation. This included having to reposition the engine three feet higher on the trailer to clear some of the beams going in next to the engine. The trailer and engine needed to be positioned in the entryway for the lift, so Emmert's crews had to perform the assembly by coordinating the lifting between a heavy lift crane outside and a hoist inside the building.

An 85 foot (26 m) section of gantry rail had to be slid into position next to the engine under the walkway platform on each side. This rail section had to have part of its bracing placed directly on the trailer. The jacks for the gantry lift inside the building had to be lifted over the engine and into the building for placement. The towers wound up being placed narrower than the trailer on which the engine was resting. With the towers installed, the header beams, including two 60 foot main beams, were manoeuvred into position.

The lifting straps were then installed, with crews ensuring that all 12 lifting points were equally loaded. Next, the gantry was raised to clear the engine's foundation. Once clear, the gantry rolled further into the building. The crew then set the engine into place on the foundation, with the client directing the sensitive operation. After the engine was positioned and secured, crews began the process of removing all equipment from around the engine and foundation. All of Emmert's equipment was then loaded onto the Sea Island for the journey back to the US.

Emmert's project team spent six months planning the transport and arranging for customs clearance for the equipment. Daily toolbox talks were held to go over safety procedures and proper equipment use and additional safety meetings were held before each major operation to cover any specific safety issues. No lost-time injuries took place and a sworn insurance surveyor was on hand in the Port of Houston to ensure that everything was safe for sea travel to the Bahamas.

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