Geodis transports Siemens turbines across the Andes mountains

The project with 400 heavy loads has a tight delivery schedule and the teams have to deal with a wide range of shipments

Geodis transports Siemens turbines across the Andes mountains

Siemens has engaged Geodis to transport some 400 heavy loads from three different continents to Bolivia. This involves transits through the Panama Canal and over the Andes mountains under extreme weather conditions and at altitudes of up to 4,680 meters.

The loads include Siemens combined cycle power generation equipment intended for three Bolivian thermo‑electric plants located in Del Sur, Warnes and Entre Rios. Geodis’ scope of services includes ocean freight, port handling, vessel loading and discharge, transit documentation and road freight, including all permits.

The first two turbines were loaded in April and originated in Sweden, where they were manufactured at the Siemens’ Finspang Industrial Turbomachinery facility. Weighing 170 tons in total, they were embarked on a heavy-lift ship at Norrköping for the 14,000 kilometres sea voyage to the port of Arica in Chile. All materials arrive there, including turbines, heat recovery steam generators and generator sets.

After discharge in Arica, the equipment from Siemens is transported by road to the sites in Bolivia; specially arranged trucks hauling the material over 1,800 kilometres to their destination. In total, Geodis will manage 94 heavy lifts of up to 160 tons each by the time the project is completed in April 2019. The poorly developed road network between Chile and Bolivia, rough terrain and extreme weather conditions are the main challenges for the GEODIS teams managing the operation.

According to Peter Anetsberger, Geodis Regional Segment Leader of Power at Industrial Projects in Europe, “this mission has a variety of challenges for our experts to tackle. The project has a tight delivery schedule and the teams have to deal with a wide range of shipments originating in Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil and China. Plus, we had to undertake roadway construction on the transit route through the Andes. Despite these constraints, we are confident of overcoming the challenges and achieving the target set by Siemens.”

In total, Geodis will transport 14 industrial gas turbines, 11 steam turbines and further power plant equipment to convert the three plants for combined cycle operation. As a result of the complex reconstruction project, Siemens will increase the power generating capacity of Bolivia’s National Interconnected System by 66 percent or more than one gigawatt. The project will provide reliable energy supply for the local population and lay the foundation for possible electricity export to neighboring countries in the future.