Super-sized transformer sets off from Nuremberg to China


Nuremberg, 26 January 2018For the bayernhafen Nürnberg team and Züst & Bachmeier Project GmbH, the ‘heavy-weights’ leaving the Siemens transformer plant are an everyday occurrence. But the transformer that set off today from Nuremberg en route to Northern China broke all records. And it is only the first in a series of four giants that will set off on their journey around the globe from Nuremberg.

First things first: the Chinese metropolitan regions of Changji and Guquan are separated by

3,284 km, the equivalent of the distance between Lapland and Barcelona. In 2018, Changji and Guquan will be linked by a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission link boasting a DC transmission voltage of 1,100 kilovolts (kV) – the largest and the first HVDC of its kind in the world. In cooperation with its Chinese HVDC transformer plant in Guangzhou under the supervision of the Nuremberg transformer plant, Siemens is producing the world’s first 1,100 kV converter transformers – and with a capacity of 587.1 megavolt-amperes, the most powerful in the world. The first of these giants left the Siemens transformer plant in Nuremberg to begin its journey to China via bayernhafen Nürnberg, one of bayernhafen Gruppe’s corporate sites.

A record-breaking transformer: the colossus weighs in at 535.5 tonnes (t) with impressive dimensions of 13.6 m x 6.14 mx 5.9 m to match. The entire logistics chain will be managed by the bayernhafen Nürnberg-based Züst & Bachmeier Project GmbH. This includes transport by road from the Siemens transformer plant in Nuremberg to bayernhafen Nürnberg, where it will be transferred onto barge for further shipment by inland waterway to Antwerp (BEL), and then loaded on to an ocean-going ship for its journey to China.

The first stage was completed during the night, with a specialised heavy-load road vehicle – the so-called high girder bridge – transporting the transformer the 8 kilometres from the Siemens transformer plant to bayernhafen Nürnberg, in the process overcoming a number of challenges such as the Minervastraße railway underpass and several bridges. The dimensions of the high girder bridge are equally impressive: 64.30 (!) m x 7.45 m x 6.45 m, with a gross weight of 875 tonnes, the equivalent of 750 cars. The transformer was parked until the early hours at the Heavy-Lift Logistics Centre of Züst & Bachmeier in bayernhafen Nürnberg. In the morning, hydraulic strand jack equipment was used to transfer the super-sized transformer on to barge. The journey to Northern China will take around three months.

“The demands of the modern transport sector demonstrate how important the state-of-the-art trimodal freight village of bayernhafen Nürnberg is for our city as an industrial base. Nuremberg offers world-class conditions for shipping heavy-lift plant and machinery all around the world. Its specialised companies are consummate professionals,” says Dr. Michael Fraas, Spokesman on Economic Affairs of the City of Nuremberg, who is also the Chairman of the German Waterway and Shipping Association for the Rhine-Main-Danube. He highlights the importance of inland waterway for the industrial location. “The Siemens transformer plant is only capable of manufacturing the largest high-performance transformers because they can be transported safely and reliably by inland waterway.”

“Expertise in heavy lift is a key factor for the decision of export-focused industrial companies to base their businesses in the Nuremberg region,” says Alexander Ochs, Managing Director of the operating company of bayernhafen Nürnberg, Hafen Nürnberg-Roth GmbH. “bayernhafen Nürnberg closely supports clients such as Züst & Bachmeier Project GmbH to enable them to deliver made-in-Germany industrial plant technology to their customers all around the globe. Waterway plus high-performance cargo handling technology – this combination has once again proven its worth.”

“Moving giants is work measured in millimetres”, says Karl-Heinz Webersberger, Managing Director of Züst & Bachmeier Project GmbH. “Both at the preparation stage and in every second of the execution. The first two stages in the logistics chain – the transport by road from the plant to bayernhafen Nürnberg and the transfer on to barge – were completed on schedule. Now our responsibility is to manage the further stages of the journey to China and we are looking forward to greeting the next giant today.”



Source: ZÜST & BACHMEIER PROJECT GMBH. Arrival of the heavy-weight at bayernhafen Nürnberg on Thursday morning.
Source: ZÜST & BACHMEIER PROJECT GMBH. On Thursday, the final phase was completed: the loading of the giant on to barge.
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