Delicate operation to move 141 tonne steel part out to sea through Coffs Harbour

25 July 2013

Coffs Harbour will have a chance to star in its own version of ‘Massive Moves’ with a 141 tonne stainless steel heat exchanger making its way around the country to Western Australia.

A Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spokesperson said a coordinated planning effort was under way involving private operators and a number of government agencies for the safe movement on land and sea of the 17 metre long heat exchanger which is eight metres high and 6.9 metres wide. The huge piece of equipment was manufactured locally by WE Smith Engineering Pty in Coffs Harbour for use in the mining industry in Western Australia.

“Earlier this week the impressive load, which is the size of a small lighthouse or grain silo, travelled under special permit issued by RMS on a 19 axle truck from Boambee to the wharf at Coffs Harbour,” the spokesperson said.

“The heat exchanger will make a number of hops on its journey to the other side of the country.

“Its first step went without incident, as it travelled along the Pacific Highway in the early hours of Tuesday morning to cause as little disruption to traffic as possible.

“The next part of the process is weather dependent but will involve moving the heat exchanger on to a barge before it is towed from the harbour.

“From Coffs Harbour it will travel south to Port Kembla where it will be transferred to a heavy lift ship for its journey to Western Australia.

“A temporary position of harbour master has been created to manage the move on the water with RMS boating safety officers providing on water traffic management, guiding the barge and the tug boats.

“Recreational and commercial vessel operators will be alerted to the oversize load on marine radio with skippers required to keep a safe distance from the barge at all times. Water Police and Marine Rescue NSW representatives will be on stand by to help.

“In all, the trip by sea to Western Australia is expected to take about 18 days, weather permitting,” the spokesperson said.

Note: Photographs are available on request.

Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit:  8588 5999

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