Massive Cianbro module to be shipped to Newfoundland

Posted April 08, 2011, at 7:59 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — A massive electrical module that is one of the building blocks for a new nickel-processing plant in Newfoundland is complete and will soon be loaded onto a barge for its trip north, Cianbro Vice President Joe Cote said Friday.

“The first of 22 buildings is done,” said Cote, who is general manager of Cianbro’s Eastern Manufacturing Facility in South Brewer.

The first module took three months to construct and is 140-feet long, 45-feet wide and 25-feet tall. It weighs more than 600 tons, Cote said while standing next to the humongous gray structure.

The Pittsfield-based company won a contract in September to design and construct the 22 electrical building modules for Brazil-based Vale, an international mining company, which is constructing a processing plant in Long Harbour, Newfoundland.

“The client asked us to accelerate the schedule and we did accomplish that,” Cote said.

About 120 workers are currently working at the Brewer module plant, he said, adding that getting the work done was a team effort. In addition to working hard, they also worked safe, Cote said.

“We just celebrated 1 million safety work hours and more than 500 days without an injury,” he said. “We’re two years without a loss time accident. Congratulations to the team for working safely.”

In addition to the one finished module that will be shipped out next week, there are half a dozen others that are in the works at the plant.

The modules are some of the largest-scale electric rooms that have ever been constructed. They are needed for phase one of a multiphase construction project, he said.

The module buildings will be one, two and three stories tall. They will weigh up to 600 tons each and will be filled with switch gears and major electrical components. The first module will be loaded on Sunday or early next week onto a large barge already parked at the plant’s Penobscot River bulkhead. The module will then will be shipped down the river and along the coast to Long Harbour.

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