Transformers on the move
22 May 2023

Transformers on the move

Germany, like the Netherlands, is in the process of expanding its electricity grid. This is the result of increasing demand for electricity combined with a growing supply of sustainably generated energy from (offshore) wind and solar power. These expansion projects sometimes require heavy transformers. And that, in turn, is a great challenge for Wagenborg Nedlift's transformer team!

9% gradient

In northern Germany, the team was called into action to transport a transformer weighing no less than 395 tonnes to its final destination. Using the 'Enak', a large sheerleg, this giant was loaded onto SPMTs at the ferry quay in Kleinensiel. The transport combination then 'only' had to climb a steep 9% incline to get to the top of the dike. Not an easy feat for equipment and operator!

Once on the main route to the high-voltage substation, the huge transport continued its journey unhindered. At the final destination, the 500 tonne lifting gantry was ready to unload the transformer and place it on its foundation. Mission accomplished!


Over 100 kilometres away, two large mobile cranes were used to unload a series of six transformers, each weighing 320 tonnes, from the barge. Each transformer was loaded onto a 14-axle conventional trailer via a tandem lift by the 700 and 800 tonne Liebherr powerhouses. The transport combination then temporarily 'parked' the transformer a short distance away.

The transformers then travel to their final destination by train. This is achieved by using a special two-part heavy-duty train frame, with the transformer suspended between the two sections. For this purpose, Wagenborg Nedlift's team prepares each transformer on the track with a jacking operation. Over the next few weeks, the special rail vehicle will transport the transformers one by one to their destination. Multimodal transport at its best!

Take a look at our other transformer projects

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