In the southern North Sea, natural gas is produced by NAM and Shell UK. Subsequently this gas is processed in the gas plants of Den Helder, the Netherlands, and Bacton, UK. To protect the value of the gas plant in Bacton up to around 2030, Shell UK started the ‘Bacton Rejuvenation Project’ in order to improve safety, integrity and reliability by replacing obsolete items and by reducing operating cost.

Part of this project contains the installation of three electric driven propane (C3C) compressor units on the Bacton plant. These components would be manufactured in Breda, the Netherlands. A so-called ‘factory-to-foundation’ project was required to get these compressor units to the gas plant in Bacton. A typical project for Royal Wagenborg. 

The three giant electric driven propane (C3C) compressor units, each weighing 43 tonnes, were already waiting at the manufacturer’s site to be transported to their destination in Bacton, UK. In mid January, the final go was given and transport operations could commence. Transporting the compressors, measuring 5 meters in height, by regular road transport to their final destination in England was not feasible. It resulted in a multi-modal combination: exceptional road transport, transport by inland waters, sea transport and exceptional road transport again. 

On a rainy and stormy Friday, Wagenborg’s 200 tonnes mobile crane was set up at the quayside in Breda, the Netherlands. Meanwhile, loading at the assembly hall had already started. By means of a 5-axle semi low loader, the compressors were transported to the quayside, where the 200 tonnes crane lifted the units into an inland vessel. Via inland waters the cargo was transported to the port of Rotterdam, where a heavy port crane directly transhipped the heavy units into m.v. Jade, a Wagenborg fleet vessel. 

Upon arrival in Great Yarmouth, the compressors were transported in convoy to the site of the Bacton Gas Plant by Wagenborg and her partner Collett Transport. A 750 tonnes mobile crane lifted the compressors on its