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Moving 115 tons like a speeding bullet

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The case

South Africa’s Saldanha Bay is a region on the rise. As one of the country’s premier industrial development zones, it’s also home to Avedia Energy’s brand new LPG facility – the Bay’s first big infrastructure project. Mammoet was tasked with both the transport and installation of 16 LPG bullets, and it was the installation that really stood out. To get the giant tanks to their final home on concrete plinths, Mammoet devised an engineering solution that saved Avedia both time and money, allowing construction at Saldanha Bay to continue at rapid speed.

The precision operation that saved time and money.

The biggest challenge was moving the 115 ton bullets from the trailer onto the two plinths. Originally, the customer had envisioned to lift the bullets with a crane, which would then ride the load through to the installation location. But  the project team figured there had to be a faster and easier way. So they set out to devise a different method.

STAGED BULLETS, READY FOR TRANSPORT

HYDRAULIC GANTRY LIFTING BULLETS ONTO TRAILER

TRANSPORTATION FROM PORT TO SITE

SLIDING ONTO PLINTHS

Each bullet’s journey began at their temporary portside storage facility, 1.5 km from their final destination. At this point, the usual method would be to lift them onto a trailer bed with the help of a hydraulic gantry, after which they would rest on their saddles, ready for transport. However, in this case skid tracks were placed between the saddle and trailer bed, matching the distance between the skid tracks that were laid on top of the plinths they were ultimately being placed on. So when the trailer arrived at the plinths, it could park right up next to them, allowing each bullet to be skidded directly from the trailer onto the plinths. Subsequently, they could be skidded straight to their final destination without the need for a crane.

This method required precise positioning of the trailers, but it saved half a day per bullet over a typical crane lift-and-shift. In total, it took a 30% off the total project time – and it worked out to be more cost-effective too.  

Because of creative engineering and safe execution, Mammoet delivered the bullets well ahead of schedule. In the process, Avedia broke new ground on a unique energy development in South Africa. Thanks to the head start from Mammoet, construction on the new Avedia gas facility could now take place faster than a speeding bullet.

 

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