MOBILE, Ala. — The barge carrying Ashtabula’s giant stacker-reclaimer to Mobile, Ala., arrived in Mobile Friday after a 54-day, 3,500-nautical-mile journey.
Last fall, the Alabama State Port Authority bought the Krupp Stacker Reclaimer at the Ashtabula Dock Company for its McDuffie Coal Terminal in Mobile.
Ashtabula native, Daniel Gill, Mobile’s docks maintenance superintendent, said the barge left Ashtabula on Nov. 23 for its journey on an ocean-going barge through the St. Lawrence Seaway and on to Mobile. The smaller parts traveled on several over-the-road trucks.
“Due to extreme weather, it took an extra 20 days to our facility here in Mobile,” Gill said. “The vessel could not travel if the seas or swells were in excess of 6 feet to 8 feet, or winds in excess of 25 knots. The Krupp arrived on Friday at 12 noon sharp.”
The total cost of the trip was estimated at about $8 million.
The massive machine was completely off the barge and into a staging area by 6:30 p.m. Monday, he said.
“There were no accidents or injuries from the start of the project in Ashtabula to the unloading and staged area here in Mobile,” Gill said. “We could not have done the project without all the participation with Richmond Engineering of Pittsburgh, Capp Steel of Ashtabula, Broad Street Electrical Contractors of Ashtabula, PCS Crane and Rigging of Columbus, and of course, my uncle Jerry Lambert [of Painesville].”
Andy Kaschalk, project manager for Capp Steel, said he hopes Capp Steel gets the reconstruction job in Alabama, but right now, that part of the project is in the planning stages.
A stacker is a large machine used in bulk material handling. Its function is to pile bulk material such as limestone, ores and cereals on to a stockpile. A reclaimer can be used to recover the material. In Ashtabula, it was used to move coal.
“McDuffie Coal Terminal is capable of loading and unloading just about any form of transport,” Gill said. “It’s a 550-acre terminal with about 16 miles of conveyor belt, two ship loaders, three ship unloaders, two barge unloaders, two bi-wing stackers, two rail car dumpers [one tandem and the other a single car dump], five stacker reclaimers, as well as a rail car loading station.”
The Krupp machine was built around 1991-1992, according to the manual. The machine weighs about 950 tons, and measures from the top of the rail to the top of the machine at 93-feet. If the boom is raised 16 degrees it is 99 feet high. The overall length is 334 feet, according to the manual.
Its specification for operation is reclaiming coal at 5,000 tons per hour and stacking 3,000 tons per hour.
It was originally purchased by the Consolidated Rail Corporation in 1991 or 1992.
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