Column weighing more than 850 tonnes arrives at PKN Orlen construction site – Poland’s largest transport

The Wash Tower

In Płock on Tuesday evening, a two-day operation will begin to transport a ‘Wash Tower’ column weighing over 850 tonnes for the Olefiny III complex under construction there from the Vistula wharf to PKN Orlen’s main plant. This is the largest transport carried out in Poland to date.

The Wash Tower, which is more than 94 metres long, 8 metres wide at its widest point and more than 10 metres high, arrived in the port of Gdansk by ship from Spain at the end of March, then loaded onto a barge and travelled down the Vistula to Plock, where it moored at the river quay at the beginning of April. Now the largest and heaviest element of the Olefins III complex under construction will be transported to the construction site at PKN Orlen’s main plant.

As Grzegorz Samoć, director of the projects department of DSV, the company responsible for delivering elements of the Olefiny III complex, including the ‘Wash Tower’ column, from Gdansk to PKN Orlen, said on Tuesday during a press briefing at the Vistula wharf in Płock, “this is the largest element transported in Poland under the public road and river conditions”.

Samoć explained that the transport, which will begin on Tuesday evening, will take place using a 72-axle platform with turntables, thus adapted for cornering, with the speed of the entire set, which will cover a route of about 8 km, being roughly between 3 and 5 km/h.

– This is certainly the most demanding and complicated road transport in Poland. The transports that have been done so far have been much, much smaller, three times shorter and three times lighter. So we are really dealing with a record here,” stressed Samoć.

According to PKN Orlen, the transport with the ‘Wash Tower’ column has been divided into two stages. It will start on Tuesday at 10 p.m. from the Vistula Wharf in Płock, and its route to the construction site will take the following streets: Parowa, Szpitalna, Traktowa and Zglenickiego. During the operation, the platform with its cargo is planned to stop on Wednesday – during the day – at a specially prepared square near the roundabout on Szpitalna Street. The start of the second stage to the destination is expected to be at 10 pm on Wednesday. The set is expected to arrive at the site of the Olefiny III complex under construction on the night of Wednesday to Thursday.

Trans port – as stated in a joint communiqué by PKN Orlen and DSV – required the reconstruction of eight roundabouts along the route, the modification of more than 20 conflicting power lines and the temporary removal of dozens of streetlights and a number of light and ordinary traffic signs that limited the capacity of the route.

As noted in the information, the ‘Wash Tower’ column is one of the elements of the Olefiny III complex under construction at PKN Orlen’s main plant in Płock – to date, more than 786 cargoes have already been delivered by 11 vessels from countries such as China, Korea, India, Spain and Belgium.

In order to carry out the shipments, DSV reinforced the designated Vistula wharf in Płock, built a storage yard there and acquired specialist cranes with a lifting capacity of 650 and 1,200 tonnes to unload further elements of the Olefiny III complex from barges. Also, the barges used to deliver the elements from Gdansk to Plock had to be adapted, as DSV points out, to the regulatory requirements in Poland, as well as to the technical parameters of the cargo carried.

According to PKN Orlen, four more vessels with elements for the construction of the Olefins III complex are expected in Poland still in May – they will be three units and in June – one unit.

PKN Orlen signed the contract for the construction of the Olefins III complex at its main production plant in Płock with Seoul-based Hyundai Engineering and Madrid-based Tecnicas Reunidas in June 2021. The investment is expected to last in the construction phase until the beginning of 2024, with the plant’s production start-up planned for early 2025. According to the corporation, at the peak of the investment, around 10,000 workers are expected to be employed there during the construction phase, including around 6,000 foreign workers – from South Korea, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, as well as Turkey and Turkmenistan. A container town is currently being built especially for them near the construction site.



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