Over the years, STG has delivered to many of the major refineries, both in the UK and Europe – Fawley, Shellhaven, Immingham and Grangemouth immediately come to mind, followed by Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp.
We’ve now become used to site surveys – the inevitable induction process, hard hats, special boots (no nails, to avoid the risk of sparks), high visibility jackets etc. Once height sticks and other paraphernalia are taken into account, there is little room left in the car boot! Plotting the route into and through the refinery, metre by metre, is an important part of the process – ensuring that the trailer/cargo can be positioned precisely under the crane hook – with the minimum of disruption to production.
On a particular, some years ago, when a local bridge was downgraded (max 44tons), access to the Milford Haven complex became “more than usually difficult”. Dependent on the vehicle characteristics, unless a route in by road could be secured, the only other option was by sea.
Having said that, the refinery itself didn’t have a quay. As a consequence, a specialist barge had to be employed, grounded on the beach at Gelliswick Bay, before making the final approach through the local golf course! Needless to say, the cost was horrendous – resulting in STG spending days and weeks, exploring every other possible option.
Thankfully, even if it meant slightly modifying the design of the consignment, we have never yet had to resort to the use of Gelliswick Bay.