Heavy shipping at Bellaire Harbor

BELLAIRE – Rolls Royce’s presence in Ohio is getting stronger as the company looks to become more competitive in the business of electrical generation, and a business in Bellaire is playing a key role in that process.

Rolls-Royce Energy Systems in Ohio recently sent off a new generator that is on its way to the shore of Angola in Africa, where it will be used to power an oil platform off the coast there. On Friday, the massive generators was delivered to Bellaire Harbor Service and then load onto a river barge and and is on it to Houston.

According to Todd Hultgren, transport manager, Rolls-Royce Energy Systems Inc., the company has plans to start using shipping from Bellaire a lot more in the future.

“We assemble and test these in Mt. Vernon (Ohio). We shutdown that plant (in Liverpool, England), but the customers still had the same requirements and we had to find a way to meet their needs,” Hultgren said. “So working with Bellaire Harbor, Diamond Hauling, UTC and the other players involved, including the state of Ohio, we were able to come up with this solution. After we assemble and test them, then we can just move them locally where we put them on the water and send them down to Houston.”

Working with the Ohio Department of Transportation, new lights were installed on Interstate 470, and some other minor changes were made at the off ramp from Ohio 7 to accommodate the large truck needed to transport the generator.

“This has been about a year in the works, so it’s nice to see it finally come to fruition, and all going well, there is going to be a number of more opportunities like this one,” Hultgren said. “The location has been key. It helps out with the inland transportation, because there are fewer roads we have to utilize.”

At least two more generators are anticipated to be shipped from here this year. The generator shipped from Bellaire on Friday weighs 372,000 pounds and had to be moved from a special truck bed by crane and carefully loaded onto the river barge. From here, it will go to the Mississippi River, into the Gulf of Mexico and then to Houston. From Houston, it will go to South Korea and then Angola.

“We have the heavy lift capabilities at our docks and in coordination with River Salvage Inc. and its owner Jim Zubik. Anything they can put on the road we can lift it here,” said Bob Harrison, owner of Bellaire Harbor Service. “We have the docks set up to do it and have the access road in and out.”

Harrison said he has teamed up with River Salvation Inc. out of Pittsburgh which provides assistance to lift the generator.

By shipping from Bellaire, the move is expected to save the company time and money. By using the Ohio River, Hultgren also said that it helps the company to be more competitive.

“There are three of these units, but then there is the opportunity for additional units in the future because the customers have these requirements and this is a good solution for us to satisfy there needs,” Hultgren said. “Some of our competitors are on the water in Houston and elsewhere don’t have the logistical constraints we do, so this is a way for us to be competitive in the market.”

According to Don Madl, general manger for Diamond Heavy Haul, inc., the generator itself is 65 feet long, 15 feet wide and 13 feet 6 inches tall. Madl said the truck used to bring it along the interest was 240 feet long, 18 feet wide, 15 feet 6 inches tall and has – 102 wheels. With the load, the entire truck’s weight was about 635,000 pounds.

Schuler can be reached at shoe@timesleaderonline.com.