Heavy haulage and project cargo forwarding company Silvasti Logistics from Finland completed a challenging project in 2009.
The job was to transport eight evaporator refinery vessels from the manufacturer's premises in Varkaus, Finland to the Värö Cell mill site in Väröbacka, Sweden. The evaporators were different weights, from 120 to 200 tonnes, while the largest diameter was 7.9 m and the longest was 16.05 m.
Planning began several months before the transports started. Of the many challenges, a primary one was the dimensions and weights of the vessels. Silvasti engineers concluded that the project should be done as a combined transport: Trucks would move the cargo from the factory to the nearest port where it would be loaded on a barge. It would then be towed to the port of Vidberg in Sweden before final delivery to the factory. This last leg of the journey would be about 8 km on public roads by truck.
The initial loading place at Varkaus presented challenges in that it is inland Finland with only a narrow canal connecting it to the sea. This restricted the size of the barge, limiting its width to 12.5 m. It meant that only three evaporators could be loaded on to the barge at a time so three barge shipments were needed.
Winter weather also presented a challenge. Ice and snow on the roads and icy conditions on the canal and in the sea had to be accommodated and monitored throughout the project.
The weight of the cargo also put demands on the equipment. Silvasti used its Scheuerle InterCombi heavy duty axle lines and a Mercedes Benz Actros tractor to move the cargo, in combination of 4 + 14 axles.
Securement of the cargo on the barge was one of the main issues for safe delivery. It was done by a specialist crew under the supervision of Silvasti's project manager.
Route surveys were done in advance and a final route was agreed with the relevant authorities. The journey from the port of Vidberg to the Värö site required several traffic obstacles to be removed and electricity had to be cut on several power lines along the way.