The new turbine for Mica Dam is loaded onto the Downie Timber barge in Valemount

Turbine 5 completes 13,000-kilometre journey to Mica Dam

BC Hydro is giving special thanks to Downie Timber for helping with the delivery of its new turbine to the Mica Dam last week.

BC Hydro is giving special thanks to Downie Timber for helping with the delivery of its new turbine to the Mica Dam last week.

“Downie Timber did a fantastic job on this delivery. Moving equipment of this size over the remote Kinbasket Reservoir has never been done before,” said Jen Walker-Larsen, a spokesperson for BC Hydro. “Downie’s careful planning and commitment to the project made this a real success.”

The 137.5-tonne turbine was recently barged down the Kinbasket Reservoir from Valemount, B.C., to Mica, by Downie Timber. The trip completed a 13,000-kilometre journey by the turbine from where it was manufactured in Ravensburg, Germany, to Mica.

 

The Downie Timber barge floats down the Kinbasket Reservoir, with a 137.5-tonne turbine onboard. BC Hydro photo.

The turbine, which has a diametre of 6.45 metres and weighs as much as about 1,800 people, began its trip in Ravensburg, where it was taken by road and ferry to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It was then transported for 8,000 kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean to Houston, Texas. From there, the turbine was trucked 4,300 kilometres to Valemount, B.C., where it was placed on Downie’s barge and floated down the Kinbasket.

“All the people involved in this leg of the journey were absolutely wonderful to work with – a real team effort with one goal – to deliver the turbine safe and sound and on schedule,” said Marian Pigeon of Downie Timber.

Along the way, transport crews used a tractor-trailer that was 33 metres long and had 12 axles and 96 wheels, each with independent suspension and steering to spread around the weight of the turbine. It required two trucks to move – one to pull the trailer and the other to push.

At Valemount, the barge had to be positioned on the dock ramps. The barge hull was filled with water to stabilize it and a long ramp was built from the road to the barge to minimize the truck grade from land to water. The trucks then drove onto the barge, where it was secured for the trip to Mica Dam. The process was repeated to offload the turbine from the barge.

The turbine is the fifth generator to be installed at Mica. A sixth is expected to be delivered next year.

The 137.5-tone turbine arrives at the Mica boat ramp. BC Hydro photo.

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