Replacement diesel engines arrive very special delivery

One of the largest ships ever seen in St Helier Harbour will dock at Victoria Pier on Thursday (15 March) morning's high tide.

The 107-metre, 7,380-ton Atlant Frauke is delivering 452 tons of diesel engines, generators and auxiliary equipment to La Collette Power Station. It will mark the final leg of a complex journey for two 11MW Sulzers from Dammam in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, via Antwerp to Jersey.

The Croatian-registered vessel was chosen because its cranes are large enough to handle the giant engines while the ship itself is under the maximum length of 135 metres that can dock in St Helier. In addition, a specialised 11-axle, 88-wheel low loader has been brought from Portugal and assembled on site to transport the engines the short distance from the harbour to the Power Station.

The acquisition, of the refurbished Sulzer Diesel Generators is a £9million project for Jersey Electricity that forms part of the Company's £150million ten-year investment programme. They will replace two 5MW Mirrlees units that were decommissioned and dismantled at the end of last year. The 'fast start' Sulzers are twice as powerful, cleaner, more efficient and cost effective than their predecessors.

JE Chief Executive Chris Ambler said: 'Though more than 95% of Jersey's electricity is imported from low carbon sources in France, La Collette remains vital to our security of supply in the event of major disruption in Europe.

'The installation of these Sulzers enables us to meet our security standards costefficiently. They are a considerable improvement on the former Mirrlees units, which have served Jersey well since the Sixties, but have now come to the end of their useful life.'

The Sulzers were made in France in 1992. Jersey Electricity acquired them towards the end of last year following a visit to the Arab Kingdom by Chief Engineer John Duquemin. Specialist Swiss company MIE was contracted with the complex task of their safe delivery and installation.

The generators and ancillary containers were unloaded at the New North Quay today (Wednesday) before the Frauke moves into position at the Victoria Pier for the unloading of the diesel engines at high tide just after 11:00 tomorrow morning. The Portuguese low-loader will move the engines to La Collette after the evening rush hour. Once there, the units will be moved into position with the aid of heavy load-bearing 'airfloat skids'. The Sulzers are expected to be operational by the end of 2012.

Once installed, a step-up generator transformer was needed quickly to allow a 33kV system connection. Jersey Electricity turned to Slaters Electricals in the North East of England.

Slaters had the 60-tonne, 35 MVA transformer in stock. It was overhauled and re-engineered by an expert team of engineers at the Slaters factory in Blaydon, and was then shipped to Jersey and installed on site by the Slaters installation team in weeks compared with the many months it would take to build a new one.

Slaters project manager Gary Atkinson said: 'This was a logistically challenging project but we were able to supply, overhaul, transport and install the transformer to the client’s exact specifications and time frame.

‘We were one of only a few companies who could supply such a large transformer, and it has been a real pleasure working with Jersey Electricity on such an important project for the Island.'