April 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Three key elements in a £12m investment to improve energy efficiency have arrived at British Sugar’s oldest-established refinery.
A giant crane, capable of lifting 1,000 tonnes, was at the Cantley beet sugar factory, near Acle, to offload the specialist equipment.
It took almost 40 minutes to lift the 114-tonne evaporator, the first high-pressure stainless steel vessel, into place.
After arriving at Great Yarmouth at the weekend, it passed under the town’s two bridges, which had to be raised to allow the passage of the 66-metre barge and two tugs.
The convoy arrived at Cantley shortly before 11.30am and then a specialist lifting crew from Baldwins, of Reading, swung into action. Three cranes including a 500 tonne and 250-tonne lift were used.
Two cranes, including the largest which is just one of 12 in the country and has a 70-metre reach, worked in tandem to ensure that the vessel was lifted cleanly into place.
The third was used to position the slings and attach the heavy-duty steel hawsers.
The 23-metre evaporator, which will be one of five at the factory, had to be placed within a fraction of an inch. It will be screwed down to bolts sunk six feet into the ground. A small vessel, another evaporator standing about 20 metres high, which will sit alongside, was the next to be lifted into place. British Sugar’s managing director, Richard Pike, watched the lifting operation.
A leading Norfolk grower, David Papworth, welcomed the investment in the Cantley factory, which celebrated its centenary last year. “This is really good news for the factory, for sugar growers and the industry,” he said.
Earlier this summer, he had also led a campaign to back British Sugar’s proposed £5m investment in increased storage at Cantley. About 500 growers in east and north Norfolk supply it with about 18pc of the national crop for processing.
This latest investment, which is one of the largest at the factory for about 15 years, was a “major boost of confidence” for growers, said Mr Papworth. The new equipment is planned to be operating by the start of the 2014 campaign.