Wärtsilä Corporation

When a power plant goes on a journey, it needs – before it can start – the largest telecrane in the world, scouts who work out the route and a great deal of planning and ideas! The majority our projects need a long lead time, since a proper project management is very time-consuming. It’s very important to us to prepare all of our projects in advance. Unfortunately, sometimes we do all of that hard work for no reason because the client decided otherwise. But sometimes there is a surprising turn of events and you’re happy to find out that everything you’ve done before finally pays off. And this is exactly what we’ve experienced in January 2010.

We’ve already been asked in 2006 to develop an overall concept for the relocation of a 20-megawatt diesel power plant from near Dresden. We’ve developed said concept which also included a lifting and removal aspect, in addition to the mechanical dismantling of all power station components and the core parts – three 18-cylinder WÄRTSILÄ engines with a unit weight of almost 105 tons and a component height of almost 4.40 m per unit.

After VOLLMERT had presented the overall concept, unfortunately the project fizzled out without any comprehensible reason. Luckily there was a surprising plot twist in January 2010: The manufacturer of the power plant itself approached us again. Although we weren’t prepared for this exact situation, we were able to present a concept, which now included the complete relocation as a “turn-key” transaction to Pilsen in the Czech Republic.
Within a few days, the contracts were signed and VOLLMERT was able to start with the execution.

In the first step of the project, three reactors with a width of more than 4.60 m each were removed from the roof and transported to CZ – Pilsen. In addition, the various other assemblies such as oil separators, recooling systems, switchgear and other assemblies were expertly removed and stowed in containers provided. This work was completed within the precisely defined time frame and to the satisfaction of the customer. At the same time, another team was in Pilsen to receive the dismantled parts and store them in the designated places.

In the meantime, the very complex approval procedure for the transports was carried out. Since the engines could not be further dismantled, they had to be transported to their destination with a height of 4.40 m and a unit weight of 105 tons each. The study from 2006 had already shown that an overland transport would not be possible – or only with unmanageable risks. For this reason, VOLLMERT had already shown at that time that transport could be carried out using combined modes of transport – i.e. transport overland to the inland port with transhipment to the inland vessel and, after another transhipment, further transport overland to the destination. The authorities followed this concept!

One highlight was during the second construction phase in which VOLLMERT removed the engines and loaded and transported them to the inland port of Dresden: In order to be able to lift the engines after removal, a 1,200-ton telecrane – currently the most powerful telecrane in the world – had to be erected. Since the engines were located at a distance of 25 meters from the crane, even this large crane was literally exhausted with this load case. Under the astonished eyes of many spectators, who did not want to miss the dimensions of this crane, the engines were neatly loaded and lashed to the vehicles by the VOLLMERT employees in cooperation with the client.

We now could finally continue with the next stage. During the night of April 15, a convoy with a length of 400m- consisting of the three heavy transports and various police vehicles – set off for the Dresden inland port.
Due to the total transport height of almost 5.70m, many roads could not be used, so that in addition to a necessary full closure of the highway, various overhead streetcar lines and telephone cables had to be lifted situationally on the way to the port.

The loading of the three engines onto a ship took place at the inland port of Dresden in the morning of April 16. VOLLMERT had provided two 400-ton telecranes for this purpose, each of which lifted the three engines safely into the inland vessel in a tandem lift. And after two hours, this part of the so-called pre-carriage to Pilsen was also completed. Around noon, the barge was ready to cast off and the three engines made their way up the Elbe toward Prague.

In the meantime, all components – including those not explicitly mentioned here – are in termporary storage in the Czech Republic. But this is not the end of this project – after all, the engines are supposed to produce electricity again at the beginning of 2011. In the near future, VOLLMERT will therefore work with the customer to reassemble the units in a professional manner!