Towheads on the Move

Just before Christmas I took on what proved to be one of the biggest jobs I have ever done- photographing the moving of towheads (they go on each end of an oil pipeline in the north sea) from Invergordon to Wick, and all points in-between.  This is the story of that job.

deugro are a freight forwarding logistics company, with offices all over the world, who specialize in moving over sized items.  I was contacted about a job they had moving two 250+ tonne towheads (designed by subsea 7) from the construction yard at Invergordon (Global Energy Group) on traillers (from ALE Heavylift) to the Cromarty Firth Port then on to a barge and up to Wick.  Then off the barge and through the streets of Wick to their final destination at Westerloch.

It had taken nearly 9 months to organise the logistics of the move.  Apart from the huge size of the towheads all the equipment had to be sourced and booked, the police have to be involved as they needed to closed roads, including the busy A9 and Wick, to let the trucks through.  I was amazed at the level of detail all that involved.  As an example, I was shown the CAD drawings of the move through Wick – every turn and corner mapped out to make sure that no buildings were hit and that the public would be safe!  This was one job where I had to make sure I had my hi-viz, steel toecaps, hard-hat and gloves.

Given that we were dealing with the weather, tides, road closures and the police I had to be prepared to work at some odd hours and in challenging conditions; often with long periods of waiting in the cold wind and rain for something to happen.  It was all worthwhile though to be a part of this extraordinary logistical puzzle.

There are, literally, hundreds of images from the many days I was on location but here are a few of my favourites that should give you an idea of the size of the job 🙂

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