THE streets of Pembroke Dock saw an epic journey early on Sunday morning, with the largest heavy load ever seen in the town being transported to the port.

Western Telegraph:

A colossal 350 ton heater box and stack, constructed by Ledwood Engineering, towering over houses in the town at more than 70 feet in height, inched its way to the port.

For the first time in the UK, Ledwood Engineering has manufactured and shipped a multi-million pound 350 ton heater to Sweden for use in the oil refinery industry.

The heater took six months to build and was commissioned by global oil services company AMEC Foster Wheeler. Ledwood will now mobilise specialist teams to install the heater.

The boiler and stack were the 240th piece of equipment manufactured at Ledwoods since it was established in 1983, the nature of the project meant it could not be shipped from the company’s own quay.

It is believed to be the heaviest load to be transported in the Dyfed Powys Police area.

Western Telegraph:

Ledwood’s Engineering Director Alan Davies said: “I’ve been involved for 35 years at Ledwoods and this is the biggest load that has ever gone through Pembroke Dock.

“It’s probably one of the largest types of boiler that has been built in Wales, the largest we’ve built for some time.

“The order come through early in January for delivery by the end of the year.

“It was built totally in Pembrokeshire, 35 men in our works in Waterloo have worked on it for 10 months.

“It was moved by a company called Sarrens, moving it from our yard to the Port of Pembroke for a very heavy lift ship which is due to leave this Friday or Saturday.”

Despite the size, at 23 metres high, 16 metres long and 5 metres wide, the 350 ton load took its three hour journey to the port without any hitches.

Western Telegraph:

“At 5.30am on Sunday it left Ledwood, it went with consummate ease, with excellent service by the police.

“We had to take the telephone cables out, that is the norm with an operation of this size.

“We were very fortunate it went well, it was well planned and well executed, with the usual people in attendance, BT to move the cables and the electricity company and the county council is very good at helping us.

“It’s got to get to Sweden first, it was a very tight schedule to manufacture; it was on the 11th hour when we succeeded.”

With a turnover of £64 million and some 450 staff, Ledwood was acquired by the current Managing Director Nick Revell following a management buy-out in 2010. As a major employer in Pembroke Dock, the majority of staff live in the local area.

Nick Revell said: “We have developed a strong reputation in the oil and gas sectors for delivering against the odds and overcoming logistical challenges. The heater commissioned by AMEC has enabled us to maintain continuity of our order book; providing critical business sustainability in a sector that has seen some decline over the last few years.

“That’s why it is so important to us to continue to deliver on our reputation whilst also exploring new opportunities like the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. That’s a local project, on our doorstep, that could see Ledwood fabricating major component parts for the turbines and structures.”