March 6 - ALE and Aertssen Kranen have completed the installation of the main fractioner unit at the Total Refinery in Antwerp.

The project is a part of Total's EUR1 billion (USD1.09 billion) investment in its refining and petrochemical complex at the port of Antwerp. Total will oversee the construction of a new petrochemical unit and the conversion of an existing unit, also known as the Optara project.

Construction contractor Tecnicas Reunidas selected the Aertssen Kranen and ALE joint venture to safely execute the installation of the 250-tonne fractioner, which measured 57 m long and 10 m in diameter, marking a significant milestone towards the completion of the complex.

ALE transported the unit under the crane's hook using 32 axle lines of SPMTs. Thereafter, Aertssen Kranen took over and placed the column on its foundation by using a 650-tonne capacity Terex Superlift 3800 crawler crane. A 280-tonne Hitachi SCX2800-2 crawler crane was used as a tailing crane.

The Optara project has generated a significant amount of business for the project freight forwarding sector in recent months. During February, Altius handled various units destined for the project from Italy, Portugal and Spain.

During December 2014, HLPFI also reported that Coordinadora completed the second shipment of four modules, two weighing almost 1,000 tonnes, from Tarragona to Antwerp. Over the course of six months, five shipments of 28 modules, totalling more than 85,000 cu m, will be delivered to the Belgian gateway.
TPS, Europe Cargo, SAL Heavy Lift and RollDock have all played an active role in the Optara project.