Giant cargo rolls back the years on River Yare near Great Yarmouth
Heavy machinery is being transported along the River Yare for the first time in 25 years as British Sugar ships 270 tonnes of energy saving equipment to its Cantley processing factory.
Strong winds delayed the departure of the sea-going barge from Breydon Water today.
With winds forecast to ease overnight, it is hoped to complete the journey to Cantley after first light.
The laborious journey started on Sunday when the Haven and Breydon bridges in Great Yarmouth were opened to allow the eye-catching shipment to proceed up river from the harbour and enter Breydon Water where it will remain moored until tomorrow morning.
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Spectators are expected to be able to see it pass through Reedham at about 9.30am.
The equipment will allow the factory to improve energy efficiency and cut green-house gas emissions by reducing the amount of fossil fuels it uses, as part of British Sugar's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and drive to become the most efficient sugar processor in the world.
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The passage on a 66-metre long sea pontoon is the last leg of a 470 mile road, sea and river journey from Orchies, near Lille in France, where the equipment has been manufactured.
The pontoon, aided by two river tugs, and under the guidance of the Broads Authority river pilot, is expected to arrive at Cantley later on Tuesdaye morning.
The equipment includes a pre-scalder and two new evaporator units, the largest of which is 114 tonnes.
These will help make the factory more energy efficient and reduce its running costs to make it more competitive. The factory currently uses heavy fuel oil and coal to power its boilers, so steam and other emissions will be cut significantly when the new machinery is installed.
Mark Tolley, British Sugar project manager, said: 'Extensive transport studies identified the best way to get this vital new equipment to Cantley. The widest item is over 5.5 metres, so road transport would have been very disruptive on the roads from the port.
'As the equipment was already on a barge it made a lot more sense to find a way to complete its journey to Cantley on the river.
'The new equipment represents a huge investment by British Sugar in the Cantley site and shows our continuing commitment to the local area, our beet growers and customers.
'As a major UK company, we have a responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and this new equipment is going a long way to help us to achieve that.'