Final pieces of Holcim dome being shipped from Rotterdam
The final pieces of Timaru's Holcim dome puzzle are on their way.
Two cement ship unloaders, a ship unloader and two conveyor belt systems purchased by concrete company Holcim, are being shipped to New Zealand from the Netherlands on a heavy lift ship called the Happy Dragon.
One of the cement ship unloaders along with a ship unloader, which have a combined weight of 240 tonnes, will arrive in Timaru in early November and will be used by Holcim at its new dome at the port.
The other unloader and conveyor belts are bound for Holcim's Auckland dome.
Port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe, videoed the delicate process required to load up the equipment onto BigLift Shipping's heavy lift ship the Happy Dragon and posted the footage to YouTube and its official website on Monday night (NZ time).
Holcim's capital projects manager Ken Cowie said they were excited to have the cargo, which makes up a part of the dome's overall $50 million price tag, in transit in the North Atlantic.
"This signals the arrival on site of all the major equipment for the terminal and brings us closer to commissioning the operations later this year."
There was no further work required to the dome before the unloaders arrived in port but the number 2 wharf rebuild needed to be finished off, Cowie said.
The cement ship unloaders were built by Van Aalst Bulk Handling north of Rotterdam in Dutch town Hazerswoude. The largest of them is 33 metres long, 15.5m wide and 18m high.
A logistics company brought the unloaders together about 20 kilometres east of Rotterdam, where they were placed on a pontoon by a floating crane and floated down to be loaded onto a ship.
The Port of Rotterdam described the loading as "quite a logistics challenge".
PrimePort chief executive Phil Melhopt said the Happy Dragon ship would be "quite a sight" in port when it arrived and the process of unloading would also be interesting.
The port's role was to make sure the number 2 wharf rebuild was ready for the ship and its cargo in time.