Bulky loads in Bonn and Niederkassel Heavy transports float down the Rhine

Bonn · Some heavy loads floated down the Rhine on Tuesday, creating some unusual sights. One cargo might have had you turning your head as it looked a bit like a wind turbine, only it was something else.

Whoever was on the banks of the Rhine on Tuesday morning might have thought they saw parts of a rocket floating down the river. The Dutch barge was loaded with a heavy transport. But according to the transportation company, the steel cylinders are petrochemical reactors.

Each of the two parts weighs around 150 tons; they were made in China. Their destination is BASF headquarters in Ludwigshafen. The heavy-load transport passed the Friedrich-Ebert-Bridge on Tuesday morning. It is expected to reach its destination on Thursday. The vessel was launched in Antwerp and according to the logistics company, will be crusing for a week on the Rhine.

Piggyback across the Rhine from Mondorf to Graurheindorf

It’s rather seldom that a ship makes its maiden voyage on dry land. The passenger ship St. Nikolaus, which was built in the Mondorf Lux Shipyard, however, did just that. Its first few kilometers on water were actually on a dry surface on the back of the Mondorf Rhine ferry St. Christophorus. The excursion boat was taken from the ship’s hall, steered on two self-steering five-axle boats with a carrying weight of 24 tons each.

Despite perfect preparations, the shipyard employees and the transportation crew sweated it out. Getting the 250-passenger ship out of the big hall was the easiest part. But putting it on a ramp, which partly consisted of gravel, then steering it towards the ferry, required much fingerspitzengefühl - that German word meaning great finesse.

Things got really complicated when the St. Nikolaus, 30 meters long and 7.2 meters wide, was pushed onto the ferry. Due to the water movement of the Rhine and the narrow radius between ship and trailer, the transport workers had to perform precision work with machines weighing several tons. Only after a few hours was the excursion boat firmly anchored on the ferry.

Orig. text: Bernd Linnarz, Dieter Hombach, Translation: ck

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