Transport of 8 transformers for the Caithness Moray HVDC Link project


Equipment Used:

  • Mobile Crane
  • Franna Crane
  • Climbing Jack
  • Modular Trailer
  • Girder Frame
  • SPMT
  • Tractor Unit
  • Mats
  • Stools
  • Wagon and Drag Hiab
  • Standard Flat Trailer
  • Extendable Flat Trailer
  • Ramp Trailer
  • Van
  • Arctic


Services Provided:

  • Transportation
  • Installation
  • Route Study
  • Lift Study
  • FEED Study
  • Lift Plan
  • Lift Management
  • Project Management
  • Engineering
  • Consultation
  • Load Spreading
  • Skidding
  • Jacking
  • Lifting
  • Load-in/Load-out
  • Swept Path Analysis

Caithness Moray HVDC Link

Allelys successfully completed the transport of 8 transformers as part of the Caithness Moray HVDC Link project.

The planning phase for this project began 5 years before the project itself went live and Allelys played an important role from the beginning. Working alongside consultants at the planning stages and routing of both Spittal and Blackhillock Converter Stations. The 3 day route survey, along with the experience and knowledge within the Allleys team were instrumental in advising on the routing and port entry decisions of Buckie for Blackhillock and Scrabster for Spittal.

Once the project went live, Allelys were tasked with transporting 4 transformers weighing 171te to Spittal Converter Station and 4 transformers weighing 245te to Blackhillock Converter Station.

Spittal Converter Station:
The first 4 transformer units were shipped into Scrabster Port, Caithness in pairs and each unit was offloaded at Scrabster Harbour using a LG1550 mobile crane.

Due to site conditions, the 4 transformers were required to be put into temporary storage and Allelys were tasked to prepare RAMS and drawings for a suitable solution working within the harbour with less than 3 days’ notice.

The equipment was transported and rigged in Scrabster allowing each transformer to be offloaded safely into storage. Six weeks after their arrival in Scotland, they were ready to be transported to site on a 2 file 16 axle modular trailer with 2 ballast trucks under Police Escort.

The route

The route from Scrabster through the town of Thurso to Spittal Converter Station had been in planning since the beginning of the project, with numerous swept path and load simulation studies undertaken to ensure the load and trailer could safely pass from the harbour to site.

Each transformer was then offloaded from transport using climbing jacks and installed using Allelys 400te capacity skating equipment.

The 4 transformers to be transported to the Blackhillock Converter Station were again delivered in pairs into Buckie harbour. The small quay space at Buckie harbour required the vessel to be moved in between lifts. Each transformer had to be offloaded onto a 4 file 6 axle SPMT and taken to the laydown area as the restrictive quay could not accommodate the road-going trailer.

Each transformer was transhipped into a 12 + 12 axle 350te capacity girder frame trailer. The route from Buckie to Blackhillock required road closures, street furniture to be removed in numerous locations and the use of additional ballast tractors for steep inclines.

Upon completing the 14.5 mile route to the site, each transformer was offloaded using climbing jacks and skated across to the plinth. Each plinth required the equipment to be re-rigged in between each delivery.

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