Vanguard moves smelter in Namibia

23 February 2010

A tailing crane was used to stabilise the cold box during the lift

A tailing crane was used to stabilise the cold box during the lift

Transportation specialist Vanguard moved and placed a cold box and exchanger at a smelting plant in Tsumeb, Namibia.

A 40 m long modular trailer configuration, with custom-made lightweight deck, transported the cold box and exchanger unit from Walvis Bay harbour to the site. The cold box was 29 m long and weighed about 50 tonnes.

The additional length of the trailer allowed the company to position the load to make onsite manoeuvrability easier.

"We were also able to transport the cold box on a continuous deck without the use of a turntable," says James Robinson, Vanguard project engineer.

"The modularity and hydraulic suspension of the trailer worked to our advantage once on site because there were a number of obstacles to overcome."

Vanguard had to work around machinery and foundations on site, especially narrow foundation bolts that could not be driven over.

"We basically mimicked a caterpillar in moving over the bolts. It was a slow and precise undertaking in which we would use the hydraulic suspension to lift one tyre at a time straddling the bolt, moving over it and then lowering the axle, in effect climbing over the bolts," says Robinson.

The trailers were then accurately steered into position, beneath gantry towers which Vanguard used in conjunction with its strand jacks to lift the cold box, and turned 90 degrees into final position.

"We transported and lifted the cold box first, then brought our gantry towers forward and rigged the 17 m long, 40 tonne exchanger into position," explains Robinson.

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