82.5m Turbine Blades for 26 WTGs Transported 450km by Vanguard in Northern Cape, South Africa – Heavy Lift News
27 Jun 2024

82.5m Turbine Blades for 26 WTGs Transported 450km by Vanguard in Northern Cape, South Africa

Vanguard have recently completed the transportation of some of the longest wind blades moved within Africa. Navigating a route of 450km, each turbine consisted of 7 abnormal loads and a number of smaller loads to transport the various turbine ancillaries.

A solution was engineered to use Vanguard’s six new TII SCHEUERLE Rotor Blade Transport System (RBTS) trailers to transport the wind farm components from Coega Port to site. The blades, measuring 82.5m long, required a transport arrangement with a total length of 95m. This was the first time the trailers had been used outside of Europe and became the longest distance the equipment had been used for to transport blades.

With such a long distance to travel with the cargo, extensive engineering works were carried out by Vanguard to ascertain a suitable route. Route surveys and swept path analysis were essential to understand the pinch points along the route, including street furniture and telecom lines within the towns that the cargo needed to pass through. As well as bridges that needed to be navigated with the highest level of precision and new roads that had to be built to allow
access for the convoys.



The RBTS dollie system was selected as it allowed Vanguard to overcome the low bridge challenges along the route. Whereas, other trailer arrangements would have been unable to navigate these restrictions while transporting the blades, without damaging the cargo or the surroundings.

During the transportation, Vanguard were required to overcome various embargoes throughout South Africa and work hand in hand with the police who escorted the majority of the main loads across two provinces. Also arranging for the highway to be closed for over an hour for the blades to travel along the Olifantskop mountain pass.



“Understanding the scale of the challenges faced within this first project have meant the successful deliveries to site have been greatly received by our client. With further scopes of work having been agreed and orders placed for a continuation of Vanguards services”, commented Patrick Valentin, Project Manager at Vanguard.
“This project has been months in the planning across all areas of the business and it’s been a great achievement to have reached a significant milestone, where all the components have been successfully delivered to the first site. The team have worked tirelessly and approached
each obstacle with positivity and the enthusiasm to get the project delivered in the right way.”



The delivery of the 26 wind turbines completes the project scope for the first of three sites, a 140MW onshore wind energy facility situated in Northern Cape, South Africa. With the two further project sites still in progress.





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