Giant 287-tonne substation exported from Teesside

Source: AV Dawson

The transportation and export of a refinery substation built at AV Dawson’s North Sea Supply Base marks the site’s biggest lift of the year.

A 287-tonne substation built by Mech-Tool Engineering is loaded onto a ship at AV Dawson’s facility in Middlesbrough.


The transportation and export of a refinery substation built at AV Dawson’s North Sea Supply Base marks the site’s biggest lift of the year.

The 287-tonne module, which is larger than a tennis court and measures 37 metres in length, nine metres wide and six metres in height, was constructed by Mech-tool Engineering at AV Dawson’s freight handling facility.

The unit was transported as one piece from AV Dawson’s specialist fabrication halls and onto its River Tees quay before being loaded into a ship destined for Central Asia.

The innovative transportation & shipping operation was managed by freight forwarder FH Bertling, which is also a tenant on AV Dawson’s site.

The project included 60 axle, self-propelled modular transporters to manoeuvre the unit to the quay. Specialist lifting gear, designed and procured by FH Bertling, loaded the cargo with a single crane into a Russian Sea-River vessel for onward shipment via the Russian inland waterway system to the Caspian Sea.

AV Dawson provided port services; including rigging and stevedoring support and its in house onsite ships agency Cockfield Knight supported with getting the ship in and out of the port.

Mike Hetherington, technical director at FH Bertling Logistics Aberdeen Ltd said:

“There are so many people from so many organisations involved in the logistics of a load-out of this size, but the co-ordination between teams was impressive and ensured we were able to complete the operation safely and efficiently.”

The cargo marks the first of a series of major new contracts secured by Mech-tool. Steve Oliver, business development director for Mech-tool’s modular division said:

“Business is looking strong for the future – we have a programme of planned construction projects up to at least 2020 which will all be completed at AV Dawson’s fabrication halls. From a tonnage perspective, they’ll be getting bigger too.”

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