Mining company Anglo American's call for help to get critically needed high pressure heat exchanger components for the furnace rebuild to its Rustenburg site, South Africa was just the kind of mega-challenge DSV thrives on!
The scale of the project was daunting: in total, just under 100,000 kilograms of equipment needed to be moved from two locations – Helsinki in Finland, and a military air base in Thailand – to Johannesburg, South Africa, and then on to Rustenburg.
Anglo American chose an Air solution over the Sea option because of the urgency of the project – and DSV used an Antonov An-124 aircraft, a strategic airlift jet aircraft which was for many years the heaviest gross weight production cargo airplane in the world, to fly the parts from Finland and Thailand.
It was decided the cargo in Helsinki would be moved first. It was the more complex of the two deliveries, and the additional loading equipment needed would be left behind in Johannesburg when the plane went to Thailand for the second leg of the move.
The cargo in Helsinki presented a greater challenge because additional loading equipment of approximately 50,000 kilograms was needed to load 14-16m long pieces, which weighed between 10 to 16,000 kilograms each.
The internal cranes were not able to lift the cargo into the plane, and so it was decided to load through the front nose of the plane – and this required ramps to be built so the cargo could be rolled into place on the aircraft.
The cargo dimensions for the Helsinki leg was 64,622kg and 298 CBM, and consisted of six packages.
Additional cranes were needed at both Helsinki and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to place and receive the cargo onto the special ramps.
The aircraft was loaded in Helsinki on the 29th January, and arrived in Johannesburg on the 30th January around 20:45 local time. The flight route required an additional stop in Entebbe, Uganda, to refuel because of the additional weight of the lifting equipment.
It took just over nine hours to offload the cargo, which was then delivered to site the next day, without incident. Marine surveyors were on standby at each handling point.
The cargo from Thailand weighed less than the Finland cargo, but presented its own challenges because of the abnormality of the width, 5.36m, which meant it required a police escort from its place of origin to UTAPOA, the military air base from where it would leave for Johannesburg.
The cargo was loaded and offloaded through the rear of the aircraft, using the aircraft’s internal cranes. The plane landed in the middle of the night and UTAPOA did not have a cargo terminal, so it wasn’t possible to screen cargo, nor were there lights for loading at night. Our DSV Thailand office took care of that, and arranged additional lighting and screening specially for the job.
The Antonov 124 arrived in Johannesburg on the 3rd February with its special cargo on board: seven frames weighing 34,768 kg, 274 CBM. It was offloaded without incident and was on site by Monday, 5th February – with special thanks to another police escort!
A mega project executed to perfection and the result: an extremely happy client.