Unimasters organise difficult wind turbine shipment to Bulgaria

Unimasters organise difficult wind turbine shipment to Bulgaria

Unimasters Logistics SCS Ltd were confronted with the difficult task to find a way to arrange the delivery of just one spare blade for a wind turbine generator from Xingang, China to the small village of Somovit, on the Danube river in Bulgaria. The blade had the impressive dimensions of L x W x H 43.86 x 3.34 x 2.52m and weighed 8 metric tonnes.

It was supposed to replace a defective blade in a wind power park, owned by a Chinese company. The challenge was to find a cost-effective solution to bring the blade to Bulgaria, as shipping it as part cargo from Xingang to the Black Sea ports of Varna or Burgas costed a small fortune, which was quite over the budget of the client. In case there were a few full sets together with the towers, such a routing could be justified due to the economies of scale, but this was not the case.

Unimasters were selected for their expertise and the good impressions, that the client had from their previous cooperation a couple of years ago, when Unimasters arranged the delivery of 3 full sets of wind power generators to Bulgaria.

It was a brand new challenge that required them to think outside of the box.  After studying the feasibility of a few options, including discharging in Constanta, Romania, Unimasters finally submitted an offer to the client, that included a sea freight leg from Xingang to Antwerp in Belgium, then transhipment on a barge from Antwerp to Passau in Germany, then shipping the blade with another barge from Passau to the Danubian port of Ruse in Bulgaria.

A final 160 km road freight stretch was involved to deliver the blade to the wind power park site.

As the client was not in a hurry, this cost-effective solution, which fitted into their budget was accepted and Unimasters got the booking confirmation.

The shipment organisation required good planning and management of several suppliers – the sea freight to Antwerp, the transhipment there, the first barge to Passau, the second barge to Ruse, the discharging in Ruse and finally the road freight.

There were some unexpected delays connected with the low water situation on the Danube, where the barge was stuck for some 10 days before proceeding to the discharge port of Ruse.

Unimasters duty staff were available 24/7 to manage the exceptions and duly communicate the shipment status with the client.

Finally, after a 70 day journey, the blade was safely delivered to the wind power park. The client was extremely happy with the job well done and committed to seeking Unimasters support in 2019 when they plan to ship several full wind power generator sets together with the towers to Romania.



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