Barnhart Moves Record B&W Package Boiler to Jamaica

Oct 30, 2003

Barnhart Crane & Rigging, Memphis, Tenn., successfully moved a 350-ton boiler to an aluminum refinery in Jamaica ahead of schedule, despite numerous challenges.

“This boiler was the first one of its size to come out of our plant, completely shop assembled, and the heaviest load ever to be moved on Mississippi roads,” said the mechanical installation contractor who contacted Barnhart to provide the heavy haul work. “Despite the size of the piece, the complexity of the haul through Mississippi and Jamaica, and a five-week delay in the fabrication of the boiler, Barnhart completed the move ahead of schedule.”

At the outset, Barnhart was faced with the question of how to safely move the 32 foot-high, 29 foot-wide and 704,000 pound steam boiler from the manufacturing plant in Mississippi, down the Tombigbee River to the refinery in Jamaica via rural highways and city streets, while maintaining a tight schedule. But the main problem facing engineers and project managers was the best method for transportation of such an enormous piece over such a long route.

Tim Fielder, project manager, Barnhart Crane& Rigging, said, “The question arose as to the ability of a crew at the refinery to field erect the boiler once onsite, or whether or not this massive package could be safely transported shop built through so many cities and towns between here and there.”

Barnhart and the boiler manufacturer conducted a series of thorough studies of each site and the transport route in order to determine the safest, fastest course of action. The decision was made to ship the boiler shop assembled, though this posed some difficulties in the lifting of the already-constructed boiler.

“Due to the restricted head room in the Mississippi plant, Barnhart engineers worked extensively with the boiler plant to develop and incorporate our 800-ton gantry into the base frame of their boiler design,” said Fielder. “Then we packaged up the lifting and hauling equipment and sent it with the boiler to Jamaica to allow for the use of the same lifting procedure to lift and load the boiler similarly once on-site.”

Stateside, Barnhart coordinated with four utilities, one phone company and one cable provider to relocate over 100 overhead wires, facilitate major tree trimming and reroute TVA high voltage distribution lines during the move. With the support of Jamaican officials, the Jamaica power service and local and cable electrical contractors, Barnhart relocated 220 overhead wires along the route to the refinery in Jamaica.

The boiler was expertly loaded on a barge, for the overseas shipment, in Clay County, Miss., with the advice and partnership of engineering and naval architects. The progress of the movement of this sizable load was constantly monitored by Barnhart and arrived safely at the Rocky Point Port for movement to and erection at the refinery, well ahead of schedule. The entire move from the Mississppi plant to final placement in Jamaica, not counting sea voyage time, took only five days.

“Barnhart is an efficient and effective company, bolstered by the skill and ingenuity of their engineers and staff. We were very pleased with their expertise and skill demonstrated on this unique and challenging project. It was a flawless move,” said the boiler plant president.

Barnhart Crane & Rigging, established in 1969, is a leading national supplier of specialized heavy rigging and transportation solutions. The company, with 13 locations across the United States, also provides crane services, machinery moving and plant relocations, as well as project cargo logistics and heavy equipment storage at its 100-acre, 700,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Memphis, Tenn.

Barnhart Crane & Rigging, an ISO 9001 certified supplier, also operates terminal facilities at the Port of Memphis and the deepwater Port of Mobile, Ala. For more information, visit

Barnhart Crane & Rigging Co. (Home Office) (901) 775-3000 or toll-free (800) 727-0149
Barnhart Crane & Rigging Gulf Coast Division (251) 654-0541

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