A Hydropower Project Flows
by Robert L. Wallack
The 11,341-mile project cargo transit is part of the $370 million modernization of BPAs Celilo Converter Station - a move that flows through the Port of Vancouver USA
The Port of Vancouver, Washington was a pivotal transport node for a heavy haul project from Sweden to The Dalles, Oregon. It was needed to upgrade a regional hydroelectric system dating to 1961. TransProject, LLC orchestrated the logistics services with Scan Global Logistics of Copenhagen, Denmark to move seven transformers from factory-rail to ocean vessel to Columbia River barge, then conveyed on top of a new 105 feet long self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) to the Celilo Generating Station. The hydroelectricity generated by the 31 dams of the Federal Columbus River Power System flows from the north to the south in Los Angeles and is carbon-free electricity affordable to customers in the Pacific Northwest and along the West Coast.
The route study and planning to move the seven transformers took one year until the first shipment in January 2015 and then took one year to deliver until January 2016. Each of the transformers weighs 862,000 pounds, or more than a 747 airliner.
The project was much more than these seven units. Each ship came with about 35 pieces per transformer of accessories. “The Port of Vancouver worked tirelessly with us to provide a storage plan for the large volume of accessories of which some required inside storage,” said Sue St. Germain, Executive Director of Projects, TransProject LLC, a division of Trans Group World Logistics based in Seattle, Washington in an interview with the American Journal of Transportation.
St. Germain explained that the Port dock was not used for the heavy lifts, since the vessel cranes lifted the units directly onto the barge for the 14 hours Columbia River voyage to The Dalles, Oregon dockage. However, “we visited the Port three times performing surveys of optimal solutions or a ‘plan b’ where dock strength was suitable which was not needed.” The Port was important to the planning by bringing all clients from Sweden, the U.S.A and the Bonneville Power Administration together as part of a kick-off meeting and during execution to make available the preferred berths and to process the accessories immediately for smooth deliveries.
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