February 15 - Bolloré Logistics Chile has handled the transportation of a 155-ton (140.6-tonne) transformer from São Paulo, Brazil, to Santiago in Chile using the Antonov AN-225 aircraft.
The project was completed on behalf of Colbún, a Chilean power generation company. The body of the transformer delivered from ABB's premises in Guarulhos a distance of 7 km to Guarulhos airport.
Bolloré Logistics claims that difficulties arose due to airport congestion and Customs requirements, as well as the AN-225 not being able to take off fully loaded due to the length of the runway at Viracopos.
As the weight of the transformer was so concentrated, it required a weight distribution frame, adding an extra 27 tons (24.5 tonnes) to the original piece. This equipment, consisting of parts up to 16.2 m long, was delivered in to Viracopos from Luxembourg, by way of a Boeing 747 aircraft with nose loading capability, chartered for the project.
The complete unit, with a combined weight of 182 tons (165 tons), was loaded onto the AN-225, and departed to Santiago.
Nelson Figueroa, director of the Industrial Projects division at Bolloré Logistics Chile said: "This shipment was the heaviest single piece ever airlifted in the Americas, and the second heaviest in the history of aviation. This was an extremely complex and challenging operation which required over four months of thorough preparation."
A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 was also chartered from Guarulhos to Santiago International Airport, in order to transport 42 tons (38 tonnes) of accessories, measuring 5 m in length and 2.2 m in height.
In a separate project, Bolloré Logistics Houston organised an ocean charter for APR Energy from Tasmania, Australia to Florida, USA.
The shipment, which consisted of 47 pieces of mobile power plant equipment, had a total weight of 737 tons (668.6 tonnes).
According to Bolloré Logistics, the most challenging aspect of the operation involved three heavy lifts of turbines, which weighed 86 tons (78 tonnes) each.