Turbine Transport Set to Start Today

Wheeling Intelligencer
15 July 2011
By Shelley Hanson, Staff Writer

A 203.5-ton turbine bound for an oil platform in the Caspian Sea is scheduled to head east from Guernsey County at 6 a.m. today.

Dubbed a ''superload,'' the turbine is expected to reach a construction zone on Interstate 70 near exit 208 in Belmont County at about 7 a.m. today, forcing the highway to close for about 20 minutes. As it heads toward Bellaire, the turbine will then use Interstate 470 to reach Ohio 7.

Also today, some delays are expected on Ohio 7 near Bellaire because of a rolling roadblock, led by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, traveling ahead of the superload.

It is estimated that before noon Saturday, perhaps between 9 and 10 a.m., Ohio 7 will close for 20 minutes to allow the turbine to cross the highway at Guernsey Street.

Becky Giauque, Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman, estimated the superload will travel at 15-30 mph.

''For all the parties involved ... they've been planning this for over a year,'' Giauque said. ''The manufacturer hired a professional moving company and a professional logistics company. It's a big deal.''

The turbine will then head to Bellaire Harbor, situated near the East Ohio Regional Water Authority's sewage treatment plant, where it will be placed on barges and floated down the Ohio River and then the Mississippi River. It is expected to arrive in Baku, Azerbaijan, in four months.

The turbine was made at a Rolls Royce factory in Mount Vernon, Ohio. It is the first of three such units, with two others expected to travel through Belmont County at later dates. The turbines will be operated by BP.

Transport of the turbine was delayed earlier this week due to mechanical issues.

Bob Harrison, Bellaire Harbor Service owner, said his company will help with the turbine loading. His service has been in business for six years and has worked with Rolls Royce in the past. The harbor also loads and unloads stone, fertilizer, scrap metal and more.