Following on from the delivery of two 160-tonne shunt reactors for the Neart na Gaoithe (NNG) offshore wind farm, UK-based Collett completed stage two of the project – delivering two 180-tonne super-grid transformers to the onshore substation.

Collett & Sons Ltd - Neart na Gaoithe 3 heavy lift web

Collett was contracted to provide a door-to-door service, transported the loads from the client’s factory to port ahead of their journey to the UK. Shipping into the port of Sunderland, the two transformers were discharged from the vessel using a 550-tonne strut crane and landed onto 14-row flat-top trailers.

Collett’s projects department chartered Robert Wynn’s ro-ro barge Terra Marique for the next stage. Utilising the vessel’s hydraulic roadway, each of the loaded trailers were safely driven onto the vessel by and secured for the 20-hour voyage to the jetty at EDF UK’s Torness power station in East Lothain. On arrival, Collett was again on hand to undertake the transport operations.

Having rolled the two transformers from the vessel, both units were transported out of the power station on consecutive days for the five-mile trip to the onshore substation site. Travelling under private escort and with road closures in place on the A1 between 6:00-6:30am, Collett travelled the short distance north to the Innerwick junction. Here, with the permission of East Lothian Council and under a traffic management plan, both transformers were transported with rolling road closures on the minor roads to facilitate safe passage to site.

The trailers departed Torness and transited the A1 under the pull of a single 8 x 4 tractor unit. On reaching the Innerwick junction, Collett added a second tractor unit at the rear providing additional traction, travelling in a push/pull formation. This formation was then strengthened on final approach with a third tractor unit, effectively double-heading the combination along the two-and-a-half mile track to the construction site.

Delivering over two consecutive days, and with adverse weather conditions having an impact on the accessibility of the site roads, for the second of the transformers the Collett team employed a fourth tractor unit to complete delivery.

Both transformers were offloaded and installed onto their respective bunds by Collett Heavy Lift, utilising hydraulic jacking and skidding equipment and thus completing stage two of the project.