Big boiler arrives in Hancock Co. for big move

Local News

A giant piece of machinery, sitting at the Hawesville boat ramp, ready for its journey to a Hancock county mill.

An auxiliary boiler weighing more than 250,000 lbs. arrived today for its move to the Domtar mill tomorrow morning.

“It’s interesting. It’s not everyday you see something like this going on in Hawesville,” said Brian Patterson of Hancock County, who took his family to see what the boiler looked like.

A big piece of equipment, arriving for a big move, is becoming the big talk among some hawesville residents.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Paula Gray of Hawesville. “Something like this is big for Hawesville because it’s kind of quiet, streets roll up around 8:00 PM.”

“I think it’s pretty impressive. A lot of work going on,” adds Pat McClure used to work at domtar for a decade. He says he was impressed by the 252,700 pound boiler, and the effort it takes to move it from a barge to the company’s mill a little more than five miles away.

“The amount of technical expertise to get it all laid out, make sure they do it right so that nobody gets hurt,” he said.

Company officials say the auxiliary boiler will be used as a backup system for steam at the mill to keep it running at full capacity. It took four weeks for the barge carrying it to go from Houston, and up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Residents stopped by for a brief look at it made its day long stop.

“My father was in to heavy equipment. I’ve seen big things move before, but this is different,” Gray said.

The boat ramp closed while movers put in a temporary ramp to help remove it from the barge on to its transporter. But moving something as heavy as that won’t be a quick and easy trip. Company officials say the vehicle carrying it will only be going as fast as six miles an hour from here to the plant. As it makes its slow trip tomorrow, some residents plan to get a closer look as it goes by.

“It’s going to be interesting to see if they get it up to get it to where it’s supposed to be,” said Patterson.
Domtar officials say they plan to start moving the giant boiler around 7:00 AM Tuesday. 

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