March 3 - Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered a 73-tonne turbine runner to Russia's Bratsk hydroelectric power station for OJSC Irkutskenergo.

Volga-Dnepr organised road transportation from the Voith Hydro manufacturing plant in St Polten, Austria to Vienna International Airport, where the 6 m wide and 2.4 m high shipment was loaded onto one of the airline's AN-124-100 freighter aircraft.

"To transport the runner to the Bratsk hydropower station, a unique technical loading plan was engineered," said Vladimir Grigoriev, senior load planning and logistics engineer at Volga-Dnepr.

"We used a ramp extension, a special loading platform, rail system and a 250-tonne capacity crane. The runner was fixed onto the platform and drawn into the cargo hold on rails, before being safely moored with chains," explained Grigoriev.

Volga-Dnepr also obtained all of the necessary approvals to operate the flight, including permission from the Russian traffic police to transport the runner from Bratsk Airport to the power plant by road.

Under the contract between OJSC Irkutskenergo and Voith Hydro, the installation of another five runners is planned for the Bratsk hydropower station.