June 29 - Global shipping agent and freight forwarder, Tuscor Lloyds has overseen a complex shipment of a biomass boiler from Lincoln, Nebraska through loading at the port in Houston, Texas, bound for Plymouth, UK.

The boiler, which weighs 75 tonnes and measures 13.5 m x 4.8 m x 3.8 m, was produced by a specialist manufacturer and the shipment mirrored a similar move from inland China, via Shanghai to Trieste, Italy (see the HLPFI website - June 17, 2011).

The shipment to the UK commenced with a 1,700 km road move on a specialist, 13-axle, 45 m low load trailer across four states to Houston. After some trouble with the trailer, mechanical faults and a blow out along the way (try changing a flat tyre on a low loader with a 75 tonne payload), the unit finally made it to Houston port right on time.

Shipment was planned on a container ship, loaded using a floating crane. However, a crane was unavailable and the boiler had to be taken to a different terminal at short notice.

Changing US road permits and altering the route for a 60 m long convoy is no easy task, a different shipping line accepted the cargo early for a vessel leaving at a similar time, with the arrival in Europe scheduled at just the right time for the receiver in UK.

Travelling via Antwerp, the boiler was loaded onto a trailer for shipment to the UK from Belgium.

Despite the weekend working, all paperwork and permits were arranged so that the boiler could get straight on the road to Zeebrugge for the ferry.

Once in the UK, the unit was once again subject to severe road restrictions but the truck arrived on site in time for the cranes, which had been on preparing the site and would be perfect for the lift of the boiler.

The boiler will form the centre piece of the green power plant which will utilise organic, recycled biomass material as fuel.