Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Monday 16th March 2015

Pump hire specialist, Sykes Pumps, has provided eight, GP150m diesel pumps for a ‘float out’ project to enable three, 160-tonne transformers to travel from Lowestoft to Sizewell Power Station without causing a hazard on the local roads.

Sykes Pumps provided the equipment for a project delivered by specialist transportation company, Osprey. The pumps were used in ballasting and de-ballasting the barge carrying the transformers as it passed under the Bascule Bridge at Lowestoft.

The pump configuration was custom-specified by Osprey to meet the company’s calculations for lowering the barge during the critical part of the journey. The installation included butterfly valves for both the suction and delivery outlets and eight three metre sections of hose per pump which connected the outlets to both the barge’s hull and the sea, enabling the suction and discharge of water for ballast.

Sykes Pumps delivered and commissioned the pumps on site, providing a service engineer to oversee the project. The transformers were transferred onto the barge using a low loader vehicle at high tide, when the barge deck was level with the dockside and the engineer then travelled with the crew on the 30 mile journey to the power station.

Explains Sykes Pumps’ service engineer, Neil Sparrow: “The rural nature of the location means that roads are very narrow and winding, so transporting the transformers by sea is much quicker, safer and more cost-effective.

“Butterfly valves were fitted to both the suction and delivery outlets on each pump to enable the Osprey team to adjust the water intake or release instantly by simply closing or opening the valve as required, ensuring that the barge could be raised or lowered in the water as necessary.”

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