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Towheads on the move through Wick


By David G Scott


TWO gigantic yellow structures called towheads slowly meandered through the streets of Wick on the way to Subsea 7’s Buzzard Project at Wester.

The first was moved last Friday and was followed by the bigger of the two – weighing in at 285 tons – which started out on Monday, had a pit stop at Lochshell, and finished the journey on Tuesday.

The huge towhead is manoeuvred through the streets of Wick. Pic: Derek Bremner
The huge towhead is manoeuvred through the streets of Wick. Pic: Derek Bremner

Police, engineers, specialist contractors and many curious members of the public gathered to watch the towheads carefully make their way through various streets which had been cleared of parked cars.

Local man Steven Gunn was one of those following the journey and took still images and video.

The 285 ton towhead made its way out of Wick on Monday and past the Tesco store as part of the first stage in its journey.Picture: Steven Gunn
The 285 ton towhead made its way out of Wick on Monday and past the Tesco store as part of the first stage in its journey.Picture: Steven Gunn

"There was no major disruption to the traffic and the move from the harbour to the end of Henrietta Street only took 68 minutes," he said.

"It then took another one hour and 40 minutes to get to Lochshell and on the way it stopped to let traffic past."

The enormous towhead is transferred from one trailer to another at Lochshell.Picture: Steven Gunn
The enormous towhead is transferred from one trailer to another at Lochshell.Picture: Steven Gunn

Lampposts, signs and cables overhead were adjusted accordingly to allow the towheads through the town's streets.

"The trailer they used for moving the front has a floating connector so it can pivot on the angle of a hill or corner," said Mr Gunn.

"The back can only turn at the joint of the towhead and trailer so that it remains flat."

After slowly making its way out of Wick the towhead is transferred to another trailer at Lochshell.Picture: Steven Gunn
After slowly making its way out of Wick the towhead is transferred to another trailer at Lochshell.Picture: Steven Gunn

The two enormous structures will be used to convey pipeline bundles from the Subsea 7 base at Wester to the Buzzard oilfield which is over 100 kilometres north-east of Aberdeen.

The pipeline bundles – one measuring 250 metres and the other 5.3 kilometres – are due to be launched in late summer.



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