Roll Group completes Elba Island activities


The activities on Elba Island have come to an end for Roll-Lift USA. Mid-January the last equipment was removed, after working more than two years with an extensive fleet of equipment and a large team on the expansion of the LNG plant at the Elba Island Project located in Savannah, Georgia. Roll-Lift USA overcame many obstacles to safely and successfully execute all activities. Nevertheless, the team looks back on the work with a satisfied feeling. 


The first challenge to overcome was the low weight limit and deteriorating condition of the only access bridge on to the island. This posed a huge problem for the delivery of the 9,300 poles and 71 process/pipe rack modules. The solution was to barge the modules from the offsite fabrication facility located 10 miles away along the Savannah River to the project site. 68 SPMTs and 72 lines of axle trailers were used to roll the modules on to the 25 barges at the fabrication yard and used again to roll off at the project site. Brent Brown, Transport Supervisor, looks back: “The barges were a challenge, but we managed without delay. It gave us a lot of praise from the clients and the other contractors who were working on Elba Island.’’


Another issue with the delivery of the cargo were the poor ground conditions at the project roll off location. Roll-Lift designed, in house, the hefty 85ft RoRo ramps used to bridge over the poor ground and still maintain the capacity required to handle the loads imposed. Crane Supervisor Gary Lyons also had to deal with the ground conditions. “The ground was terrible, which made it not easy to make the many necessary movements with the cranes. This also required a lot of coordination, since space was often tight. But I really enjoyed it, because it was such a big project. Not with extreme heavy cargo involved, but it was the quantity that made it special. We have lifted 840 modules, utilizing 7 of Roll-Lift USA’s heavy lift crawler cranes. No less than 540 modules were heavier than 25 tons and then it becomes critical and requires a lifting plan for every lift.’’


During peak time on the project, 35 Roll-Lift employees were deployed on Elba Island. “That’s almost 40 percent of the Roll-Lift USA staff. Which indicates that this was a serious project for our company. As Overall Supervisor I was responsible for the contact with other contractors,’’ says Robert Jackson. “That went well. In the end, the confidence of the contractors led to increasing our tasks onsite.’’ The Roll-Lift USA team has worked hard over the past two years, over 1,000 miles away from the Roll-Lift office in Houston and their families, but as Gary Lyons says: “I hope I may be part of such a large project again. Let’s move on to another one!’’

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