What has 112 wheels and weighs 280 tonnes?

  • Belco engines

  • Special delivery: one of the four engines for Belco’s new power station trundles through Hamilton on its way to the utility company (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Special delivery: one of the four engines for Belco’s new power station trundles through Hamilton on its way to the utility company (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    One of the four giant engines for Belco’s new power station, delivered this week by the Jumbo shipping vessel Fairlane, trundled through Hamilton last night on its way to the utility company’s new North Power Station (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


Crowds lined the streets of Hamilton to watch as a giant engine for the new Belco North Power Station was transported through the city.

The 280-tonne machine inched its way to the construction site on the back of a remote-controlled transporter, while staff from the electricity company dressed in souvenir T-shirts walked alongside.

Members of the public also showed interest and took photographs as a specially imported vehicle crawled along Queen Street to deliver the engine to its destination on Serpentine Road in Pembroke.

The trip was expected to take up to 2½ hours.

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor, the lead contractor on the North Power Station project, chartered the Netherlands-registered MV Jumbo Fairlane to deliver four new engines and their alternators to Bermuda.

A spokesman for Ascendant Group, the parent company of Belco, explained that each engine is five metres wide, 6½m high and 11m long.

The alternators each weigh 66 tonnes and are five metres long and nearly 4½ metres in width and height.

The 109-metre-long ship has two 400-tonne cranes and used moveable ballast tanks to help balance the loading of the cranes as it moved the engines and alternators from the ship’s hold to the dock.

He said: “BWSC has taken the opportunity to use the remaining stowage space aboard the ship with other materials for the plant, including large electrical transformers, exhaust silencers, radiator coolers and fans, powerhouse cranes, HV switchgear and air compressors.

“There will be many further material shipments through the regular Bermuda freight lines, as there have been already, as the project progresses.

“However, the safe arrival and offloading of this shipment marks a substantial milestone for the NPS which is due to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2020.”

The spokesman said that the engines and alternators were “so heavy and large” that a special vehicle, imported temporarily, was used to carry the goods from the dock to the site.

The transporter has 112 wheels, is three metres wide, 27 metres long and moves “at walking speed”.

It was thought the journey between the dock and the construction site would take between two and 2½ hours.

The spokesman added: “The management and staff of Belco appreciate the public’s understanding as we work to build an energy foundation that will be safe, efficient and cost-effective for our customers.”

Engines and alternators were scheduled to be delivered to the NPS during evenings until May 27.

More information on road closures can be found on the company’s website at belco.bm.

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Published May 16, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated May 16, 2019 at 9:23 am)

What has 112 wheels and weighs 280 tonnes?

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