Big sea trip ahead . . . the WE Smith Hudson-built reactor unit was due to leave the harbour late yesterday, destined for Alton
Big sea trip ahead . . . the WE Smith Hudson-built reactor unit was due to leave the harbour late yesterday, destined for Alton

And now for the longest haul



COFFS HARBOUR was due to bid farewell late yesterday to a massive reactor which has had a temporary home at the foreshores.

The 35-metre, 190-tonne reactor, built by specialist engineering firm WE Smith Hudson, is heading off on a barge down the east coast of Australia.

Unsuitable weather conditions, including rain at the weekend, had delayed the operation, but the green light was finally given yesterday morning.

The equipment arrived at Coffs Harbour's South Wall on August 25 after a four-hour trip from the company's Boambee factory.

That road journey went smoothly, according to company officials.

The transport team used two prime movers in front and one behind for motive power; a trailer operator using hydraulics to steer the trailer and a navigator on the other end, with the team in contact by walkie talkie.

The barge is headed for Victoria's Port Phillip Bay and the reactor will then be transported by road to Mobil's Altona refinery.

It is the first of three reactors built for Australian oil refineries in a major engineering project, with the next load bound for the harbour later this week.

WE Smith Hudson spokesman Bruce Watt said local anglers would still be able to use the southern breakwall during the operations.

However, barricades would be installed at certain times due to safety reasons.



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