The Beni Suef plant is one of three 4.8-gigawatt, gas-fired, combined-cycle power plants that together form Egypt’s Megaproject. With a total capacity of 14.4 gigawatts, the three plants were commissioned in 2018, boosting the country’s power generation capacity by an impressive 45%.

Given the impact the site would have, its operators knew that speedy construction was essential, as was the need to ensure the safety of all crew and components. The Beni Suef team set its sights on a new record for the speed of completion – an achievement that was well within reach, thanks in no small part to innovative synthetic lashing chains made with Dyneema®.

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A cargo like no other

The contract to supply the turbines, generators, heat recovery steam generators, and transformers was won by Siemens, together with local partners Orascom Construction and Elsewedy Electric. Heavy lifting and transportation specialists ALE and its Egyptian partner Egytrans were brought on board to transport these parts from Alexandria to Beni Suef.

But this wasn’t your everyday moving job.

The precious cargo included:

16 Siemens SGT5-8000H gas turbines

which are among the most powerful of their type in the world (each 486 tonnes in weight, 12.6 meters in length, 5.5 meters in width and height)

8 steam transformers

(each weighing 396 tonnes)

380+ boiler modules

(each weighing between 40 and 192 tonnes)

16 transformers for gas blocks

(each weighing 196 tonnes)

8 transformers for steam blocks

(each weighing 196 tonnes)

Transporting turbines through the Egyptian desert

The operation began in mid-April, and by the end of August, ALE and Egytrans had transported six turbines, six generators, and two transformers to the Beni Suef power plant, (as well as one transformer, two generators, and two turbines to its sister plant, New Capital).

However, the project was anything but straightforward. The route from the port of Alexandria to Beni Suef is 340 km, and to New Capital it’s 100 km. Due to the weights involved, the convoy had to take a detour to avoid six bridges on the highway, and three further bridges had to be reinforced. “Doing all this operative and administrative work in such a short period was a huge challenge,” says Krzysztof Blazkowski, Supervisor at ALE. “ALE coordinated with our local partner to make sure everything was carried out in time.”

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Lighter, stronger, faster: The added strength of Dyneema® in lashing chains

But there was more to the team’s success than close coordination. ALE also made an innovative switch when it came to lashing down the monster cargo. Faced with poor surfaces and challenging slopes, the company opted for Green Pin Tycan® synthetic link lashing chains made with Dyneema®, in place of the steel chains traditionally used on a job like this.

The reasoning was simple: Green Pin Tycan® synthetic chains made with Dyneema® are at least six times lighter than conventional steel lashing chains at equal strength. What’s more, with proper handling, storage, and maintenance, the performance life of Dyneema®-based synthetic chains is at least as long of that of their steel counterparts.

Setting a new record for power plant construction

In this business, every little bit helps. And using synthetic link lashing chains made with Dyneema® certainly helped Siemens to connect the first 4.8 gigawatts of new Beni Suef capacity to the Egyptian grid just 18 short months after the contract was signed. In doing so, the team beat every modern record for building a new power plant – a remarkable feat!

The Green Pin Tycan® chains offered the fastest installation at the lowest weight. Plus, their soft feel reduced the risk to equipment and cargo and enabled the highest safety for riggers and truckers. In fact, using these lashing chains made with Dyneema® fiber shortened installation and de-installation times by at least 50%.

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