Bolloré Logistics achieves heavy-lift world record
The projects teams at Bolloré Logistics Chile handled the transportation of a 155-ton transformer from São Paulo, Brazil, to Santiago, Chile, using the Antonov An-225, the world's biggest airplane.
This massive operation was conducted from the facilities of technology leader ABB in Guarulhos (GRU), Brazil, and was completed at Bolloré Logistics Chile’s client Colbún’s facilities, a Chilean power generation company.
“This shipment was the heaviest single piece ever airlifted in the Americas, and the second heaviest in the history of aviation,” said Nelson Figueroa, director of the Industrial Projects division at Bolloré Logistics Chile. “This was an extremely complex and challenging operation which required over four months of thorough preparation.”
The loading operations took place at two airports in São Paulo, namely Viracopos (VCP) and Guarulhos.
Airport congestion and customs requirements prevented the full implementation of operations at the airport of Guarulhos and due to the runway at the airport of Viracopos not being long enough, it was impossible to let the An-225 to take off fully loaded with this historic weight.
The body of the transformer weighting 155 tons was handled at the premises of the supplier, ABB, in Guarulhos on November 7th and was transported over 7 km the following night under police escort, to reach the Guarulhos airport.
The weight of the transformer being so concentrated, it required a weight distribution frame, adding an extra 27 tons to the original piece.
This very special equipment consisting of parts up to 16.20 meter long was delivered in Viracopos, all the way from Luxembourg, by way of a Boeing 747 Nose-Loader, specially chartered for the occasion.
The frame was then customs cleared and completely assembled at Viracopos, in a little over seven hours.
On November 14th, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 was also chartered from Guarulhos to Santiago International Airport (SCL), in order to transport the 42 tons of accessories measuring 5 meter long and 2.20 meter high.
On that same day, the Antonov arrived in Viracopos to load the assembled frame and transport it to Guarulhos, a mere 30-minute flight (110 km), where it was unloaded.
The transformer, delivered and customs cleared a few days before, was successfully mounted onto the weight distribution frame, just a few meters away from the aircraft.
On November 15th, after a long 15-hours of overnight work, the complete unit - with a total weight of 182 tons - was loaded onto the An-225, and departed to Santiago.
Finally, the unloading which lasted for over three hours, marked the end of this massive project.