Vanguard transports longest turbine blades

Heavy lift and transport company Vanguard transported wind turbine blades and other components from Coega Port to Noupoort in South Africa.

New roads have been built to allow access for the convoys. (Photo: Adriaan Scholtz)

The blades, measuring 82.5 metres long, required a transport rig with a total length of 95 metres.

“With 78 sets arriving into Coega Port and each set containing three blades, a nacelle, a generator, a hub and containers, over 550 individual pieces of cargo are required to be transported 500 kilometres to Noupoort,” said Joost Heystek, project manager at Vanguard.

“This project has been months in the planning and it’s great to see all of the preparation and engineering work come to life with the transport phase beginning.”

The design of the port layout has been critical within the engineering works, the company said.

Vanguard completed route surveys prior to the transport phase of the project. (Photo: Adriaan Scholtz)

Due to the number of components arriving at the port, including 234 of the longest blades to be offloaded in South Africa, it was essential that the cargo was stored to always allow for access and manoeuvrability.

This will help the transport operation of two convoys per week, for the next 12 months, to run smoothly.

Engineering route

Extensive engineering works have also been carried out along the 500 kilometre route.

Vanguard completed route surveys and swept path analysis to understand the pinch points along the route including street furniture and telecom lines within the towns that the cargo would need to pass through. The company also had to consider which bridges the transport would have to navigate and new roads have been built to allow access for the convoys.

The first stage of the project has been completed. Now in the main transportation stage, the company will continue to move the components over the next 12 months.

The 82.5 metres long blades are some of the longest to be delivered to South Africa. (Photo: Adriaan Scholtz)

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