Overdimensional Lift & Shift (ODLS) was contracted to receive and deliver a new 250-tonne Hitachi generator/stator from the ship’s hook at the Port of Melbourne to the Loy Yang B Power Station in Traralgon South – a travel distance of approximately 180 kilometres.
Offloading and preparation to travel
Dutch ocean transport specialist Spliethoff transported the generator/stator to Melbourne on its vessel Heemskerkgracht and offloaded it in a dual lift with its two 180-tonne capacity NMF heavy lift cargo cranes onto ODLS’ 12-axle platform trailer.
This trailer was used to take the cargo to a storage yard at the port, where it was held pending approval for travel to site. It was offloaded for storage using ODLS’ 500-tonne capacity SBL500 gantry lift system (the largest of two owned by ODLS).
Once approvals were in place, the cargo was loaded into the transport cradles and the beam set was built ready for transport through metropolitan Melbourne and on to the Latrobe Valley. ODLS used its 200-tonne Liebherr LTM1200-5.1 AT crane to assemble the trailer. Each beam comprised 6 x 12-tonne modules and with other equipment attached to the beams, the heaviest lifts approached 100 tonnes.
The beam set was supported by 2 x 12-axle Nicolas platform trailers. Two pull and two push heavy haul (block truck) prime movers were required to move the trailer, with an additional truck attached for traction as required.
The combination was an impressive 130 metres in length, 7.2 metres wide and 5 metres high; with a gross on-road combination weight of 575 tonnes.
The journey to Loy Yang
Due to the size and weight of the load, the journey was completed over three nights to avoid inconvenience to the public and provide a safer environment for travel.
Approximately 50 personnel were involved in the transport, escort and ancillary services required for the move. This included a crane truck used to place steel plate over culverts and the junction of bridge abutments and beams, where authorities deemed that this was necessary to protect road assets.
Night one: This involved negotiating a route through Melbourne’s iconic inner suburbs of South Melbourne, Albert Park and St Kilda, including a visit to Luna Park. The involvement of Yarra Trams, VicRoads, the Department of Economic Development, Victorian Certified Pilots and the traffic management company was required to plan and implement this move, with crews required ahead of and behind the convoy to remove and replace traffic signals and other signs as the convoy wound its way through the suburbs.
Contra flow travel was necessary on some roads; and a U-turn was required on the South Gippsland Freeway at Hallam as the load made its way to the first night’s stop on the Princes Highway at Officer South Road.
Night two: Travel included bypassing culverts, additional contra flow travel on the Princes Freeway at Drouin and the use of a side track to avoid crossing the Buln Buln Road Bridge, which was deemed unsuitable for the load by the authorities. The night’s travel ended at the Yarragon weighbridge.
Night three: The load travelled through Trafalgar and crossed over onto the eastbound carriageway of the Princes Freeway at Kenny’s Road before proceeding under traffic control conditions through Moe to the Hearns Oak westbound on ramp, where it left the freeway to travel via designated route OD9 past the Morwell Open Cut Mine, Hazelwood Pondage and the obsolete Hazelwood Power Station to the Loy Yang B site.
The beam set was dismantled on the following day using ODLS’s 200-tonne crane, and the SBL500 gantry was used to transfer the stator onto a 12-line platform for relocation to an onsite storage area for unloading by the gantry pending a decision on a suitable time to install it in the power station and commission it.