Nickel Bros uses Columbia River for part of major Weyerhaeuser project.
The U.S. office of Canada-based Nickel Bros Industrial has used Columbia River barges to help complete a major moving project for paper and forest products company Weyerhaeuser.
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada-based Nickel Bros, has released details of how it moved 23 large industrial components from factories in Thailand and China to Weyerhaeuser's pulp and paper mill in Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada.
The paper mill evaporator system equipment was shipped over the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver, Wash., then up the Columbia River by barge before being trucked across Idaho, Montana and into Alberta.
The maker of the equipment being shipped to Weyerhaeuser originally began discussions with Nickel Bros
and ultimately made the decision to entrust the entire journey, from factory to foundation, to the Nickel Bros team. After months of planning and preparation, the first containerized shipments of smaller components left Laem Chabang, Thailand, in May 2011. In mid-December 2011 the final shipment of cargo arrived at the mill in Alberta.
While Nickel Bros has moved everything from residential buildings, to mega-size industrial equipment and even bridges over the past 56 years, 12 of these 23 cargo loads were some of the largest items ever to make their way along the Northwest corridor through Idaho, Montana and into Alberta, according to the company. With widths up to 23 feet, heights up to 25 feet, lengths up to 226 feet and gross weights up to 515,000 pounds, special routes and efforts were required for the series of long hauls.
Starting at the industrial fabricators in Thailand and China, the largest of the pieces were loaded onto ships and transported 7,270 miles to the Port of Vancouver, Wash., on the Columbia River. The equipment was offloaded, put onto river barges and brought up the Columbia 345 miles by tug to Wilma, Wash., near Lewiston, Idaho. The final 1,250 miles of the journey was by road.
According to Nickel Bros, other mega-load transport companies in North America have proposed the use of this route for large industrial equipment bound for western Canada, but some have run into legal challenges and technical difficulties that have blocked their hauls. Nickel Bros says it worked cooperatively with the highway departments, community governments, environmentalists and concerned citizens of the towns along the route.
The equipment hauled to Weyerhaeuser is described as “advanced technology [that] helps companies like Weyerhaeuser to run their plants more efficiently and turn manufacturing energy into recycled electrical energy for homes and businesses.
This new high-efficiency evaporator plant frees up enough steam to generate an additional 23 MW hours of electricity, which is sufficient to power more than 16,000 average-sized homes. As this “green” electricity will be added back into the electrical power grid in Alberta, it equates to a reduction of 120,000 tons of CO2, according to the Nickel Bros news release.
Nickel Bros is a structural transport company founded in 1956 with four offices serving Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. It is family-owned and operated and focuses on residential, commercial, industrial and mega-load cargo moving projects.