Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Nothing Boring About Shipping Mary Home to Germany

Giant Machine is Latest Project Freight Forwarding Job
Shipping News Feature

UK – GERMANY – There is nothing (yet everything) boring about the latest project freight forwarding consignment completed by specialist transport outfit Fracht. The shipment involved the carriage of a 515 tonne tunnel boring machine Mary from the recently completed River Humber utility tunnel to its home in Germany.

Comprising cutter head, shield and primary machinery, tunnel boring machines are complex and expensive to construct and, given their immense size and weight, difficult to transport. However the need for ever longer tunnels mean they are sought by engineers, because they are so efficient, resulting in shortened completion times.

Fracht has been transporting tunnel boring (TBM), shaft boring (SBM) and vertical boring (VSM) machines for over two decades and has great experience in the safe handling of these engineering giants, which vary in size but are always cylinder-shaped and heavy. At 190 metres overall, Mary was recently shipped from her German base in Baden-Wurttemberg to site by Fracht, to complete a 5 kilometre tunnel under the River Humber, for a high pressure gas pipeline from Goxhill to Paull, for the National Grid.

Prior to transport the huge machine was broken down to 21 pieces for decontamination, with particular attention to potential contaminates on the 30 tonne cutter head, 70 tonne shield, 95 tonne machine can and 20 tonne tail shield, making her ready for servicing and refurbishment ahead of her next project.

Starting with site and route surveys, the Project team at Fracht prepared every step of TBM Mary’s journey to and from the River Humber site, including lifts, lashing and load plans on specialised road transport equipment, then on a chartered vessel for shipment across the North Sea to Rotterdam where Fracht’s team waited to secure the components by floating crane to barge, for upriver movement to Germany.

Another Vertical Boring Machine (VSM) transported by Fracht from Germany to a North Yorkshire mining site, has recently broken the VSM depth record by 43 metres. The 435 tonne machine is now being decommissioned by the Fracht team, before following TBM Mary back to Germany.