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Full turnkey solution transports turbine across complex route from Germany to UK


Power generation



Turnkey solution

Extensive equipment fleet

Co-ordination with several third parties



ALE has provided a full turnkey solution, deploying a range of different equipment and multiple techniques for the complex transhipment, discharge and transportation of a gas turbine. The turbine, weighing 336t, was transported across a challenging route from the Port of Hamburg, Germany to King’s Lynn Power Station’s Turbine Hall, UK.

So that mitigations could be taken to eliminate any delays, ALE began to devise solutions for several challenges on the route that were identified at the planning stages. One of these was a roundabout with a large gas main, which was a major obstacle. To avoid the gas pipe, ALE arranged for the removal of several lamp posts and other items of street furniture as well as the partial removal of the roundabout, enabling a safe passage.

The route’s biggest challenge was the River Nar Bridge. ALE had the advantage of a varied fleet of girder frame and transport combinations as well as the flexibility to find the optimum solution. ALE conducted detailed meetings with the bridge engineers and highway authorities, working through several scenarios with the client and the bridge authorities to find a transportation method that met the necessary criteria to be technically compliant. Ultimately ALE’s AL500 girder frame with 28 axle lines of conventional trailers and two of ALE’s Trojan trucks were selected as the most suitable configuration to negotiate the route and bridge.

Movements began at the Port of Hamburg, where ALE transhipped the turbine from the client’s barge onto a chartered sea vessel using a floating crane, then completed all the welding, lashing and securing for the sea voyage.

Upon arrival at King’s Lynn Docks, ALE discharged the turbine using a 750t capacity strut jib crane, selected to comply with the location’s stringent ground bearing pressure limitations. The turbine was received directly into the girder frame trailer and transported to King’s Lynn Power Station.

At the power station, a complex matting arrangement was devised and put in place to accommodate the ground bearing capacity identified through assessments at the site. ALE used its four-point Lift ‘N’ Lock hydraulic lifting system to transfer the turbine onto 16 axles of SPMT in a configuration of 4 file 8. This was the ideal solution for the gas turbine to be delivered under the crane and into the access hall. It also meant the load could be held indefinitely if needed, without leaving the lift cylinder pressurised.

Matthew Rushton, Head of Projects, said, “Being able to draw on so many resources meant we could provide the most efficient logistical solutions possible throughout the project. Negotiating the roundabout at Hardwick Interchange was a huge challenge, but a route survey and swept path analysis had confirmed that the trailer could cross over the carriageway via a gap in the barriers. As a result, we decided to travel contraflow to enter the roundabout then travel anticlockwise to join the A47 Eastbound, and it meant we avoided any further street furniture removals, which optimised time and costs.”

ALE’s specialist equipment fleet and vast experience ensured they were able to provide effective coordination and the successful execution of their turnkey solution for the project.

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