November 7 - Aertssen and ALE have been awarded their inaugural contract as a joint venture, which will see the two companies work for Tecnicas Reunidas on the OPTARA project at the Total refinery in Antwerp.

The project is part of Total's EUR1 billion (USD1.24 billion) investment in its refinery and petrochemical project in Antwerp, which includes the construction of a new unit and the conversion of an existing unit.

Several large modules, weighing more than 1,000 tonnes, will be transported from the manufacturing yard in Tarragona, Spain to Belgium via barge. In total, 62 pieces of varying sizes and weights will be transported for the project.

Once in Antwerp, the joint venture company will be responsible for the transportation over the Scheldelaan - the main road that runs through the port - and the installation at the refinery.

In order to transport the 23 m high modules, the company will make use of 80 axle lines of SPMTs. Several heavy columns will also be transported and installed using large telescopic and crawler cranes. 

The first modules were successfully transported to the refinery in October.