Terra Marique Beaches on Traeth y Graig Ddu to Discharge Transformer
In September Staffordshire-based specialist shipping company Robert Wynn and Sons Ltd. successfully beached their unique heavy lift ro/ro barge Terra Marique on Traeth y Graig Ddu (Black Rock Sands beach) Morfa Bychan in North West Wales.
The 80mx 16.5m barge, which is flat bottomed and specifically designed to take the ground,was delivering a 128t electricity transformer loaded in Rotterdam and destined for National Grid’s substation at Trawsfynydd.
The whole beach landing operation took under 12 hours with the Terra Marique manoeuvring on to the beach under her own power at high water, and then as the tide receded the final 200m of the 330m aluminium trackway was laid.
Once all the trackway was laid it was ramp down and the 128t transformer, loaded onto a 10 axle trailer, was then driven carefully off the barge along the track way and up the beach; with the Terra Marique refloating and departing on the next high tide.
Working for Mammoet UK, who in turn were contracted to Siemens Energy, Robert Wynn & Sons had identified the opportunity of using the beach once it became clear that local stakeholders including National Grid were keen to avoid the disruption that would have been caused through the use of Porthmadog Harbour, the traditional port for access to Trawsfynydd power station and substation.
The beach landing was long in the planning with a requirement to obtain a Marine Licence and ecological consents from Natural Resources Wales, along with permissions from beach owners the Crown Estate and Gwynedd Council.
Robert Wynn & Sons General Manager Andy Manners coordinated the beach landing and commented: “While the Terra Marique is purpose built for such operations, and having carried out similar operations in Hampshire and Pembrokeshire in the last 18 months, working in such a sensitive environment there is always detailed planning and collective working required to successfully carry out such a challenging operation. The beach was left as we found it, and all involved worked tirelessly to ensure the successful delivery of the transformer”
Source Robert Wynn and Sons Ltd